The longstanding rule of “One person, one vote” still applies in the runoff election between Clay Walker and Bradley Edge for the Place 2 City Council seat. An extremely weak turnout, however, is making it highly likely that, no matter the outcome, only a handful of voters will decide who sits in the second chair on the left of the City Council dais next month.
As of 3:20 p.m. Friday, a total of 290 votes had been cast in the race between the incumbent Walker, 55, and challenger Bradley Edge, 27. That’s less than one-third of vote total in the May 9 election that ended without a a single candidate capturing a majority of the votes, leading to the current runoff between incumbent Walker and challenger Edge.
In general election, Walker received 700 votes — or 45 percent of the 1,552 ballots cast — while Edge came in second with 535 votes, or 34.47 percent.
Of the other candidates in the five-way race, Claude Walter, owners of AES Walterstart on Gilmer Street came in third with 217 votes (13.98 percent). He was trailed by Lowe’s manager Steve Carmody with 84 votes (5.41 percent) and retiree Allen Vaughan’s 16 votes.
So far, barely 3 percent of the registered voters within the boundaries of Sulphur Springs have cast ballots. Or you can look at it this way — for every person that has voted, at least 31 others haven’t.
And if the current patterns continue to hold true, and the number of people voting on the final day of the runoff — Saturday, June 13 — each vote will be abnormally signicant.
On average, about 60 people have voted each day of early voting. Extrapolated over the seven days of early voting, that produces 420 voters.
On May 9, the number of votes cast was equal to 51 percent of the early voting total; 51 percent of 420 translates into a projected total vote in the runoff of 634 ballots.
If that is the case, just over 6.5 percent of the voters would show up at the polls, and the winner of the Place 2 race would need only 318 votes for a majority.
And if the winner only needs 318 votes for a win, then each voter would be making a decision for about 29 other people.
Early voting will continue Monday and Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Sulphur Springs Municipal Building (also known as City Hall), 125 South Davis St. The final day of voting will be Saturday, June 13, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Sulphur Springs Independent School District Administration Building, 631 Connally St.
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