Schools should change election date

BAY CITY, Mich. - Bay County area schools should conduct school board elections jointly with general elections as a way to save money and have more representative voter turnout, according to The Bay City Times.

The Times said in an editorial that schools should piggyback on the state and national elections conducted in November of even-numbered years. Bay City Public Schools could save $40,000 by shifting dates, according to the school district finance director, The Times reported.

Voter turnout also would likely be higher, The Times said, citing a state report issued in 2000 that noted that three-quarters of Michigan school districts had less than 10 percent voter turnout for May elections. Since the Legislature passed new election laws in 2004, 103 school districts have shifted to November dates, according to The Times.

The Bay City Times, "Public schools should switch to November elections," Nov. 20, 2008

Michigan Education Report, "Consolidate school elections with general elections," Aug. 15, 1999