We vote for a change: City has reasons to align its elections with county’s

The Russians probably don’t even want any part of this election.
By now, most Morgantown residents are longing for the days when candidates complained about missing campaign signs.
If recent events are any indication of what to expect leading up to the April 30 City Council election, indifference, not interference, will make headlines.
Which further reinforces our calls in the past to move all city elections in line with Monongalia County’s, which include state and national elections.
Piggy-backing onto the county’s elections will not only save our city money and time, but undoubtedly increase participation by voters.
The mess that is this year’s election virtually runs the gamut of what could go wrong did, including:
One candidate withdrawing from the ballot after it was discovered he forged signatures on a petition to get on the ballot.
Another candidate was suspected of allowing a handful of spouses to sign for their wife or husband on his petition.
He remains on the ballot but won’t participate in interviews and forums or answer questionnaires. He only issues a prepared candidate statement.
Still a third candidate has decided to move for work reasons in mid-campaign. He remains uncontested on the ballot.
Write-in candidates have filed to replace him, but if he should win after all council will appoint his successor.
And three of seven seats on City Council were uncontested all along, giving the lone candidate a presumptive win.
All the while only two races for Morgantown’s City Council in the past 30 years have generated a turnout of more than 20 percent
One of the primary reasons given by supporters of our current off-year election on the last Tuesday of April is to give this election a separate spotlight.
So as not to get swallowed up by county, state and national story lines, the city’s charter set this date aside. But unlike some cities and states, our ballots are rarely extensive.
It supposedly also allowed WVU students to vote in the city’s election. Although many, if not most students are still  here during the state primary and general election.
The state’s primary is on the second Tuesday in May and the general election on the first Tuesday of November in even years.
Clearly, changing the city’s charter to tack its election onto the county ballot would not protect the petition process or candidates from opting out.
But it would save money, time and  likely increase interest and turnout for an election that is now costly, tedious and often ignored.
We have met who is messing up our city’s elections and he  is us.