Education committee members and Senators passed a bill mandating the posting of specific school board and district election information.
On a 5-2 vote, Senate Education committee members passed Senate Bill 66, which requires school boards to post information related to school district elections within their board minutes. The bill also passed the Senate on a 24-11 vote.
The required information would include the number of registered voters in the school district, number of individuals who voted in the election, percentage of voters who voted in the election and if the school district election was held in conjunction with municipal election or June primary. If an election was not held, the reason why must be posted. All information must be posted within 60 days of the election.
ASBSD opposed the bill.
“I don’t see any evidence this morning that suggests that if you collect all this data…that would have some effect on voter turnout,” ASBSD Executive Director Wade Pogany testified during the committee hearing.
“What is our outcome here?”
The bill’s main sponsor, and Chair of the Senate Education committee, Sen. Jim Bolin claimed during the committee hearing the intention was to take “a small step to forward to try to generate more interest” in local school district elections. He added that the bill would “show just how many people actually vote in the school board election.”
Education committee member Sen. Troy Heinert expressed concern the bill may be “almost trying to shame the public” for not voting and noted much of this information is available and published already.
“Election results are in the paper. That information is out there,” Sen. Heinert said during the bill’s hearing. “I think we are better served finding out why people don’t vote.”
Pogany shared Sen. Heinert’s sentiment related to voter turnout.
“If you’re trying to improve voter turnout, let’s try something else,” Pogany suggested.
SB 66 now moves to the House chamber for review in committee.