Cities pay for runoff elections - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cities pay for runoff elections

WATERLOO (KWWL) - Although election day has passed, Decision 2009 is not over.  Voters in Waterloo, Cedar Falls, Waverly and Cedar Rapids will head back to the polls in about a month for runoff elections.  Each city decides whether to have a runoff election.

In Black Hawk County, runoffs have taken place in Cedar Falls for decades.  In Waterloo, runoffs have only been used since 2003.  As for the cost of runoff elections, each city must foot the bill.

At the Black Hawk County elections office, workers are finishing up Tuesday's election and preparing for the runoff.  It's about 4 weeks away.

"Tomorrow, we'll be working on preparing the ballots so that we can get them sent away and prepared and printed. There is no nomination process because of that. Hopefully, we'll have ballots available soon," said Black Hawk Co. Elections Manager Kyle Jensson.

In Waterloo, it'll be the 4th runoff since the city went to that system about 7 years ago.  The city has to foot the bill for each municipal and runoff election.

"We certainly would've saved not even a penny on the levy or $15-20,000 for something else. I know the council felt it was important to make sure the candidate who won had a majority of the vote of all the citizens," said Waterloo Chief Financial Officer Michelle Weidner.

Meantime, the county will gear up for December 1st with voting at 45 precincts in Cedar Falls and Waterloo plus absentee voting.

"Knowing there was a chance for a runoff, we tried to contact those workers of yesterday to see if they would be available December 1 and many said they would be," said Jensson.

The last runoff election in Waterloo was in 2007 for an at-large city council position.  Turnout was at 6% and it cost just more than $17,000 which means the cost was $6.86 per vote.

Online Reporter:  Bob Waters

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