Charter vote was nonbinding, but 90 percent voted anyway

Published: Friday, November 30, 2012 at 04:56 PM.

More than 8,000 who did vote on it should have been enough to convey citizens’ opinion, Taggett and Edwards said.

“You’ve got an opportunity (now) that the people have spoke,” Edwards said. “Everybody had an opinion on it. If you didn’t vote, that is your own fault.”

“It was voted on and 500 people said no,” Taggett said, referring to the 524 more voters who voted against the charter than for it. “Yes, some people elected not to vote on it. If you don’t vote on it, don’t complain about it.”

Cal Zethmayr, of WAAZ/WJSB radio, referencing data from previous Crestview charter referenda, contended that based on his research, the 8,114 people who voted on the issue were likely the highest turnout they could expect.

“I think they sent you a message,” Zethmayr said. “In Crestview, 90 percent who got a ballot went all the way to the back of the ballot and they chose to send you their opinion. 524 more said no than said yes. Do you think you’re going to get 8,000 voters to turn out in March? I’ll buy a steak dinner for any of you who thinks they will.”

Zethmayr said his research showed 72 percent of registered voters voted on the charter referendum — the highest percentage of any of the previous five Crestview charter referenda from the past 20 years.

“We had 8,100 people vote,” Edwards said. “You add that up and the majority did not want the city charter to change. I don’t care if it was irregular or not counted or whatever.”

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