Sunday, May 3, 2009

Part 1-Election Survey Responses In From 2008 Md School Board Candidates

I received 21 responses to the 92 emails sent. Taking into account nine were returned as undeliverable, that is better than a 25% response from email surveys received by Maryland school board candidates.

While there was not a total consensus, there was widespread agreement among the participants of several points.

The two questions that had the most consensus were #3 and #4.

(3) Do you feel voters in school board elections should be required to be registered voters? If they are not in your county, can you explain how this is facilitated in the voting booth ?

18 said yes -voters should be registered voters to be able to vote in a school board election.

2 indicated they were unsure since they had never participated in a school board election in which unregistered people could vote .

One did not answer this particular question.

(4) Can you explain any benefits you can see from holding school board elections on the same day as the general election?

Some gave multiple answers, so there are more than 21 given.

17 stated the advantage is higher turnout. 5 stated the advantage is a cost saving to the public due to not having to hold a seperate election. One person did not answer this question.

(5)Can you explain any disadvantages you see from holding school board elections on the same day as the general election?

8 stated they saw no disadvantage.

9 raised the issue that offices that far down the ballot get ignored which results in voter dropoff at the bottom of the ballot and "random" voting ( for example, picking a candidate by which column their name is in or based solely on name recognition).

1 person raised the potential problem of voter ignorance and 1 other raised the potential of straight ticket voting when voters know the affiliation of nonpartisan school board candidates and vote for the nonpartisan candidate who is of their own party and may even be endorsed by partisan candidates of their own party.

It could be due to the wording of questions 1 & 2 or the complexity of the issues raised by questions 1 & 2, but several of the responses were more nuanced than just "yes" or "no". I will continue to review the answers and I plan to post again on this survey by week's end.

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