Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

May 16, 2013

Election 2013: Runoff election means second round of early voting

Ben Tinsley
Jacksonville Daily Progress

JACKSONVILLE — Wait! Haven't we done this already?

Well … sort of. A June 11 runoff election has been called between incumbent Jacksonville mayor Kenneth Melvin, 73, and challenger Rob Gowin, 44.

The two — along with third political candidate William Igbokwe, 23 — duked it out in the polls during the May 11 mayoral election. Melvin got 389 votes to Gowin's 426 and Igbokwe's 147.

Although Gowin won the popular vote,  a candidate must attract more than 50 percent of all votes cast to win an election.

If there is no clear majority  in that regard — a common hazard in a three-candidate race — a runoff is necessary between the two candidates with the most votes.  In this case those two are Gowin and Melvin.

Texas fact: Under state law, candidates can agree to settle an election by flipping a coin when elections end in an absolute tie.

This does not apply to Melvin or Gowin in this case since the nature of their “tie” was not vote-for-vote.

But if the result of the June 11 runoff is an actual tie,  followed by an automatic recount, Melvin and Gowin will be offered the chance to flip for the mayor's seat. Unless one of them chooses at that point to drop out.

 Incidentally, Igbokwe has decided to throw his political support to Gowin.

With Jacksonville elections comes early voting, pointed out City Secretary Betty Thompson:

• May 30 and May 31, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at City Hall, 1220 S Bolton St.

• June 3, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at City Hall.

• June 4, a 12-hour voting day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at city hall.

• June 5 and June 6,  8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at City Hall.

• And, of course, the regular election, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.,  at the Jacksonville Public Library,  502 S Jackson St.

 Anyone with any questions about the election is welcome to contact the city at 903-541-0150.