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Charter Amendment Resolution 2001 CR-1

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WHEREAS, the goal of elections is to accurately reflect the will of the voters, and WHEREAS, there have been several elections during the history of Riverdale Park where a candidate has been elected without a majority of votes in an election, WHEREAS, it is in the interest of democracy to encourage participation in elections, both by voters and candidates, BE IT RESOLVED to amend the Town Charter of the Town of Riverdale Park to read as follows:

(Old version) § 511: Vote Count Immediately after the closing of the polls, the election judges shall determine and record the vote cast for each candidate and shall seal the ballots and/or machine tallies. The judges shall immediately present the record of votes cast to the mayor and council, who shall declare that person or persons elected who shall have received the highest number of votes for the respective office or offices. The results shall be recorded in the minutes of the council. In the event of a tie vote for any office, there shall be an election on the fourth Monday in May for the office or offices so tied.

(New version) § 511: Vote Count, Declaration of Persons Elected, and Determination of Candidates for Runoff Election

Immediately after the closing of the polls, the election judges shall determine and record the vote cast for each candidate and shall seal the ballots and/or machine tallies. The judges shall immediately present the record of votes cast to the mayor and council, who shall declare the person or persons elected who received more than half of the votes for the respective office or offices. The results shall be recorded in the minutes of the council.

In the event no person receives more than half of the votes cast for all candidates for any office, a runoff election shall be held. To determine which persons' names shall be printed on the ballot or placed on the machines for a runoff election, the following procedure shall be followed:

a) Candidates' names shall be placed on a list in ranked order by the number of votes they received, with highest rank for the candidate with the highest number of votes, and lowest rank for the candidate with the lowest number of votes. If two or more candidates received the same number of votes, they will appear on the list at the same rank. b) If there is only one candidate at the highest rank, and there is only one candidate at the second highest rank, then these two candidates' names shall be printed on the ballot or placed on the machines for a runoff election on the fourth Monday in May. c) If there are two candidates at the highest rank, then both of the candidates at this rank shall be printed on the ballot or placed on the machines for a runoff election on the fourth Monday in May. d) If there are more than two candidates at the highest rank, then two of the candidates shall be printed on the ballot or placed on the machines for a runoff election on the fourth Monday in May. The two candidates shall be chosen from all of the candidates at highest rank by coin tosses, drawing of straws, or another game of chance agreed upon by all candidates and administered by the chief judge of election. e) If there is only one candidate at the highest rank, and there is more than one candidate at the second highest rank, then one candidate shall be chosen from all of the candidates at the second highest rank by coin tosses, drawing of straws, or another game of chance agreed upon by all candidates and administered by the chief judge of election. The name of the candidate at the highest rank and the name of the winner of the game of chance between the candidates at the second rank shall be printed on the ballot or placed on the machines for a runoff election on the fourth Monday in May.

The results of the runoff election shall be reported to the mayor and council, who shall declare that person or persons elected who shall have received the highest number of votes for the respective office or offices. In the event of a tie vote for any office, the person or persons elected shall be determined by a coin toss, drawing of straws, or another game of chance agreed upon by all candidates and administered by the chief judge of election.

ADDITIONAL AMENDMENT to § 501 (New Version; added text is last sentence in paragraph plus "non-runoff" in § 501.a.3)

§ 501: Qualifications of Voters (a) Every resident of the town who (1) is a citizen of the United States, (2) is at least eighteen (18) years of age, (3) has resided within the corporate limits of the town for at least forty-five (45) days immediately preceding any non-runoff town election, and (4) is registered to vote in accordance with the provisions of § 503 shall be a qualified voter of the town. Every qualified voter shall be entitled to vote in all town elections; provided, however, that in the election of council members, only those qualified voters who reside within the limits of the ward from which a council member is elected shall be qualified to vote for that council member. For runoff elections, only those residents who were registered for the initial election are qualified to vote in the runoff election.

ADDITIONAL AMENDMENT to § 506 (Amended text is last sentence in paragraph).

§ 506: Candidates for Office to File Petition Any person desiring to be a candidate for any elective office in the town shall on or before the twenty-fifth (25th) day preceding the election file with the judges of election a petition to have his name printed on the ballot or placed on the voting machines. The petition shall set forth the office to which he desires to be elected and shall contain a statement that the candidate is qualified to hold the office if elected. In the case of any candidate seeking election as mayor, the petition shall be signed by not less than twenty-five (25) qualified voters from the town at large; in the case of a candidate for the council, the petition shall be signed by not less than fifteen (15) qualified voters from the ward in which the candidate resides. No appointed official of the town shall continue in such position after becoming a candidate for nomination or election to any town elective office. Filing fee for each office shall be set by ordinance. This section applies only to regular elections; printing of names on the ballot or placement of names on the voting machine for runoff elections is detailed in § 511.

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