State Senate passes bill to put school board, national races in same election cycle
State Sen. Tom Cullerton's (D-Dist. 23) legislation to let voters choose school board members alongside candidates for the White House and Congress passed the state Senate with bipartisan support last week.
“Good schools mean good businesses in our communities," Cullerton said. "Voting in local school board elections means voting for the success of our students and economy. 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.”
Senate Bill 669 was introduced by Cullerton after he noticed a stark decrease in voter participation during consolidated elections. For instance, in the 23rd State Senate District, there was a 50 percent voter drop-off for the 2013 consolidated elections compared with the 2014 elections. Under the proposed legislation, school board elections would remain nonpartisan.
“We rely on school board members to make vital decisions about the future of our children and property tax dollars," Cullerton said. "These are decisions they shouldn’t take lightly and neither should voters."
S.B. 669 now moves to the House for consideration.