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Edmond sees 5 percent voter turnout in council election

Edmond's mayor and city council elections drew only 5 percent of the city's 54,601 registered voters. The county average in municipal elections is 8 to 15 percent.
by Diana Baldwin Published: April 4, 2013

— Edmond's mayor and city council election, held on a wet, cold Tuesday, brought out only 5 percent of the city's 54,601 registered voters.

Mayor Charles Lamb tallied 2,069 votes to win a two-year term. Ward 4 Councilman Nick Massey received 1,694 votes in his successful bid for his council seat.

Lamb won over opponent Richard Prawdzienski with 81.7 percent of the vote. Massey received 67.4 percent of the vote over challenger Shilpa Abbitt.

Oklahoma County Election Board Secretary Doug Sanderson said the average turnout in municipal elections across the county is between 8 and 15 percent.

Sanderson said the 5 percent number may be a bit skewed because the total number of voters includes people who have not voted in a while or have moved and not been purged from voter rolls.

Voter turnout was on the minds of Lamb and Massey as they waited for people to vote on Election Day.

“You are always concerned about the turnout in local elections when things are going well,” Lamb said. “It is sad. Local government has more impact on people's daily lives than they realize.”

Lamb has been on the city council 16 years. He said all the vote totals in each of his seven elections have been moderate turnouts.

Massey said, “Unfortunately, local elections aren't as important. It is disappointing.”

Lamb said that unless there is a controversial mayor's race, there is generally not a lot of interest.

by Diana Baldwin
Sr. Reporter
Diana Baldwin has been an Oklahoma journalist since 1976 and came to The Oklahoman in 1991. She covered the Oklahoma City bombing and covered the downfall of Oklahoma City police forensic chemist Joyce Gilchrist misidentifying evidence. She wrote...
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