PHOTO: Spring Hill resident Alan Mazza called the recent Spring Hill election a “sham,” criticizes voting locations during Monday’s city meeting. / Photo by Alexander Willis
By ALEXANDER WILLIS
After what some election officials called a “disappointing” turnout for Spring Hill’s recent city elections in April, Mayor Rick Graham said the city may consider moving the date to encourage a higher turnout during Monday night’s city meeting.
The April 11 elections, which saw three new faces elected to the city’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen, saw a record-low turnout, with only 5.67% of registered voters participating, or a total of 1,545 out of 27,271 registered voters.
Critics of how the election was held often cited the voting locations as a major problem; only one location, the Longview Recreation Center, is in place for Williamson County residents, who make up the vast majority of city residents. The other two locations, Spring Hill High School and the Winchester Community Building, saw incredibly low turnouts. Spring Hill High saw only 17 votes by 12:30 p.m. on election day.
One such critic was Spring Hill resident Alan Mazza, who spoke of his concerns during Monday’s meeting to city leaders.
“I think during this last election that we had, it was a complete sham,” Mazza said. “I sat in front of the senior citizens center and watched people get turned away – citizens of Spring Hill – told to go into Columbia to vote. It’s not that the polls were jammed with people… we had to go all the way into Columbia to Spring Hill High School to vote, where the whole voting count for the day was 55 people. I have all intentions of taking this up with the Election Commission and tell them what a big sham this whole election was.”
In response to the low turnout, Graham said that during the next city meeting in June, city leaders would further discuss the idea of moving the city elections to a different portion of the year.
“We tried this a couple years ago, I want to come back and discuss again the possibility of moving the city elections,” Graham said. “Definitely talked about a lot this past election. Two or three years ago, a few of us tried to bring it to either November or August and failed, so I think it’s time to talk about it again… especially with a 5.67% registered voter turnout.”
The next meeting of the Spring Hill Board of Mayor and Aldermen will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, May 20 at City Hall, located at 199 Town Center Parkway.