Senate approves bill aimed at increasing voter participation in school board elections
Published: March 11th, 2021
OKLAHOMA CITY – A release from the Senate communications staff affirmed, “Low turnout is far too common in local school board elections, but that trend would change thanks to a bill approved Wednesday (March 10) by the Oklahoma Senate.”
According to the release sent to CapitolBeatOK.com and other news organizations, Senate Bill 962, from Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat, would align school board election dates with the dates of primary and general election dates for county, state and federal offices. (http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/cf_pdf/2021-22%20FLR/SFLR/SB962%20SFLR.PDF)
Treat said low turnout in school board elections is due to those elections happening outside of the traditional election season dates.
“Participation in local school board elections is woefully inadequate. That’s troubling because school boards have the greatest impact on our communities and our state’s future,” said Treat, R-Oklahoma City.
“Aligning school board general elections with county, state and federal general elections will bring increased voter participation in these important local elections that help determine the direction and governance of our schools.”
S.B. 962 now advances to the Oklahoma House of Representatives where the primary House author is Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka.