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Dover, DE may lose annual elections

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September 1, 2011

By David Godow


DOVER, Delaware:

Many Americans only see the inside of a voting booth once or twice every four year election cycle. Dover's active voters head to the polls every single year, with half of the city council coming up for election each April. Now, a draft city charter amendment would cut elections down to once every two years; supporters argue the proposal could save Dover taxpayers $10,000 a year and promote a better informed and more experienced council.[1]

Under the current system, city council members serve two-year terms. Four councilmen and the city's mayor are elected in even-numbered years, with another four council districts and an at-large council post chosen in odd-numbered years. Councilman James L. "Hutch" Hutchison, Sr., who is sponsoring the reform proposal, argues that longer terms would increase stability and overcome the "very serious learning curve" councilmen face in their first year. His proposal will come up for debate in September.

See also