GRAND LEDGE, Mich. - More school districts are moving to cost-saving November elections, according to a report in the Lansing State Journal. Grand Ledge Public Schools is one example; rather than foot the bill for its own spring election, it will share costs with other municipalities in a joint November ballot this year, the Journal reported.

State lawmakers voted in 2004 to allow school districts to consolidate traditional spring elections with November general elections, according to the report. Election costs vary according to the size of the school district and number of municipalities sharing the costs, election officials told the Journal.

Williamston Community Schools moved to November elections in 2008, but when a recreation millage failed on that ballot the district returned to voters this May, the Journal reported. The millage passed in May, though voter turnout was significantly lower, according to the Journal.

"We needed decisions from the community in order to be able to make budget decisions for this upcoming school year," Superintendent Joel Raddatz told the Journal. "We favor having as many elections as possible in November, but occasionally there are going to be those that need to be addressed sooner."

Charlotte Public Schools Superintendent Nancy Hipskind told the Journal that November elections have greater visibility.

"I think sometimes the other election date people kind of lose track of, but there's usually enough going on at the November election that they usually have some awareness of that," Hipskind told the Journal.

SOURCE:
Lansing State Journal, "Schools moving elections to save cash," Aug. 6, 2009

FURTHER READING:
Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "Secret Ballot?" May 22, 2006

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