The entire electorate of the metropolitan government shall elect the five (5) councilmen-at-large ....
- - Metro Charter, Article 3, Sec. 3.01
The Charter does not prohibit voters from choosing any number of no more than 5 at-Large Council Members from the field of candidates on August 2. The savvy voters who hold flames for specific candidates will realize that voting for less than 5 makes the votes given to the favorites statistically "stronger," since winners are determined by percentages of the total votes cast.
While some voters will figure this out, others are being coached by one at-Large candidate to make their votes "stronger." An e-mail sent out by Charlie Tygard's campaign for an at-Large Council seat contained these instructions:
Each voter may vote for up to 5 candidates out of the 26 candidates in the Council-at-Large race. Often times many voters choose to vote for fewer than five candidates for strategic reasons.I do not see anything illegal with these instructions. However, they do seem sleazy coming from one of the candidates to a general audience.
Since the winner of the Council-at-Large race is based on a percentage (%) of the total number of votes cast, to help the candidate(s) of your choice win, vote for only those candidates you feel strongest about.
This technique makes each vote you cast more meaningful for the candidate(s) of your choice.
It is one thing to coordinate a strategy inside a campaign. It is quite another for a candidate to fail to bracket strategy publicly in order to encourage people to do their civic duty and vote period.
Mr. Tygard should be advancing the merits of his ideas alone and not coordinating voter strategy with naked opportunism and with little sense of honor or duty. The Charter does not prohibit voting for less than 5 candidates for "strategic reasons," but its spirit is democratic, not strategic.
As a community leader, Mr. Tygard should be rising to meet that spirit rather than abandoning the high road in order to pad his percentages. Leave the low road to his campaign lackeys.