Cullerton legislation hopes to increase voter participation in school board elections
State Sen. Tom Cullerton (D-23rd) said Wednesday he recently introduced legislation that will permit Illinois residents to vote for school board members alongside candidates for the White House and U.S. Senate.
Cullerton said he introduced Senate Bill 669 after seeing decreases in voter participation during consolidated elections.
“School board members make important decisions about the future of our children and our property tax dollars, Cullerton said. "Decisions they shouldn’t take lightly and neither should voters. We need to do as much as possible to increase voter participation for school board elections. We can’t force people to go out and vote but we can take steps to make it easier.”
A 58 percent drop in voter turnout occurred in the 2013 consolidated elections compared to the 2014 general elections, Cullerton said.
“Elections are when we hold our elected officials accountable," Cullerton said. "Our children can’t afford for only about 20 percent of our registered voters to elect representatives to make vital decisions concerning their future. Small turnouts allow special interest groups to dominate elections and don’t allow for the best candidates to receive a fair chance.”