It’s almost Election Day in Lake Havasu City.
The primary election will be held on Tuesday and Havasu residents will have their choice of at least one and as many as three new members for the City Council. Incumbents Gordon Groat and David Lane are both running for re-election against challengers Mike Bonney, Nancy Campbell, David Jaramillo and Cameron Moses for three open seats. Current Councilmember Donna McCoy is not running for re-election.
But the primary election may not be the finish line for all of the City Council candidates, with the potential for a runoff election in November looming.
How does the election work?
Voters in the primary election will be able to vote for three candidates to fill the three openings. If any candidate gets support from a majority of voters they will earn a seat on the City Council. If there are not three candidates with a majority then some of the candidates will be back on the general election ballot for the unclaimed seats.
What constitutes a majority?
A majority for the City Council race will be determined by taking the total number of votes cast for all candidates combined and dividing by the number of available seats – in this case three. Then divide that number by two and round up to the nearest whole number. Any candidate with at least that many votes is considered to have a majority.
For example: In the 2018 City Council election there were 19,883 votes cast for City Council. So dividing that by three gives you 6,627.66, divided by two is 3,313.83. So candidates needed at least 3,314 votes to earn a majority. Jim Dolan’s 5,229 votes, Jeni Coke’s 5,014 votes, and Michele Lin’s 4,164 votes were enough for each of them to wrap up their seat in the primary election.
There were only five candidates for City Council in 2018, however, and the likelihood of a runoff increases with the number of candidates in the race.
If more candidates reach the threshold for a majority than there are available seats, those receiving the most votes will be declared the winners.
How does the runoff work?
For each seat left unclaimed in the primary election, two candidates will advance to the general election on Nov. 3. So if only one candidate receives a majority of the votes on Tuesday, then four candidates would move on to the general election. The candidate with the fewest votes would be eliminated from the race.
If two candidates receive a majority in the primary than the candidates who received the third most and the fourth most votes would advance to the general election for the remaining council seat.
Where to vote in the primary election
The Lake Havasu North precinct in the Desert Hills area is comprised of voters in the Board of Supervisors District 5. Voters on Tuesday will have two polling locations to choose from:
- Mountain View Property Owners Association, located at 2635 Anita Avenue
- Bethany Bible Church, located at 1200 Park Terrace Avenue
The Lake Havasu South precinct includes Lake Havasu City and all the voters in Board of Supervisors District 3. There will be four available poling locations during Tuesday’s Primary Election:
- Mount Olive Lutheran Church, located at 2170 Havasupai Boulevard
- Quality Inn, located at 271 Lake Havasu Avenue
- Community Presbyterian Church, located at 3450 Chemehuevi Boulevard
- St. Michael’s United Methodist Church, located at 2895 S Jamaica Boulevard