The polls opened in Nashville at 7 this morning, allowing voters a final chance to cast ballots in the special runoff contest for vice mayor.
This time there’s only one item - selection for the city’s next vice mayor, who will serve out the remaining year of the current term.
Poll officials estimate that just 30,000 votes may come in — a low number they attribute partly to voter fatigue, and the fact that the only contest on this ballot is for vice mayor.
Yet South Nashville voter Boyd Kinser, who voted early, says he feels more inclined than ever to get to the polls.
"Actually, with the elections being as they are, as important as they are, it’s been an added desire to come out and vote," he said.
The contest pits acting Vice Mayor Sheri Weiner against At-Large Councilman Jim Shulman. They tend to vote similarly on most debated items — both describing themselves as fiscally conservative and socially progressive — but have disagreed on a few key issues, including penalties for marijuana possession and Google Fiber's proposed rollout policy.
For voter Alan Hayes of East Nashville, he's realized the importance of the vice mayor's role in providing stable leadership for the Metro Council.
“Just hearing specific comments from them over the past few weeks, it seems like they’re both very qualified; both have a lot of experience on the council, which is what we need.”
The most recent vice mayor contest was in 2015 and attracted nearly three times the number expected for this vote. David Briley, who won that race, is now the city's mayor after Mayor Megan Barry resigned.