Thursday, April 30, 2009

How to Suppress Voter Turnout in School Board Elections

Simple: don't hold them at the same time as other elections. New Jersey will have its primary elections in June, including a Republican primary to nominate either former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie or former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan to challenge former Goldman Sachs chief and current Governor Jon Corzine for the governorship. Scheduling local school board elections for the same day would have increased turnout. Instead, they were held earlier this month here in Hackensack. According to the Hackensack Chronicle's unofficial results, the city's $85,207,090 school budget was approved by a 880-515 vote: in a city of about 50,000 residents, an $85 million tax and spending decision was made by a ~3% minority of zealous voters. I'm sure that's just the way the city's education establishment prefers it.

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