Birmingham City councilor calls for special election for vacant council seats

Three Birmingham City Council seats up for grabs

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Three Birmingham City Council seats will be vacant this year. District 7 Councilor Jay Roberson announced his resignation last week.

Councilors Lashunda Scales and Sheila Tyson are moving to the Jefferson County Commission. They are expected to vacate their seats following the state-wide general election November.; The two councilors are running unopposed.

Those vacancies will be filled by appointment by the city council, but that has one councilor speaking out. Tuesday Councilman Steven Hoyt called for a special election.

"It is my opinion that we should have an election. I think it's too long of a term to not let people choose their leaders," said Hoyt.

Council president Valerie Abbott has said an election isn't feasible,

So, what's the price tag for a special election? According to the city clerk, a special election in District Seven that includes 13 polling places could range from a hundred to 115-thousand dollars

The cost varies from district to district .

You have to consider the number of polling places, voting machines , workers, tables, chairs, ballots and supplies .

The entity used to manage the election also plays a part.

Councilman Hoyt said the city can find a way financially to allow the residents in District One, Six and Seven to vote in a special election.

"If I was a citizen in any of those neighborhoods , I would be outraged to think that we have almost three years on a term and I not get a chance to choose my leader as oppose to the council doing that."

The last time the city had a special election was June 3, 2014  to fill the vacancy for Council District 4.

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