Tuesday, February 10, 2015
0% Turnout in school election!
Last Tuesday, school boards across the state had elections. These elections typically have extremely low turnout, but little Hagerton, in Chaves County, set a new low.
Not a single person turned out to vote, not even the candidates themselves. Noone was elected.
According to a story in the Albuquerque Journal (link below), the main cause of this tragedy is that the nearest polling location was 26 miles away, in Roswell. And since all three positions were uncontested, no voter bothered to make the drive.
Not that having a polling place in Hagerman would have made a huge difference. The Albuquerque election only saw 2.6% of eligible voters bother to cast ballots.
I'd love to be able to say that everyone is so pleased with the schools in New Mexico that they needn't concern themselves with their administration, but that flies in the face of reality. The truth is that we have a democracy problem.
At the very least, we should have a requirement that there be a polling place located in the jurisdiction where the elected officials officiate. (Actually, we shouldn't need a requirement- it is plain common sense- but the county clerk in Chaves seems to need a reminder).
Not everyone sees a problem with this. One of the candidates who was not elected said, "It's all good."
We don't think it is at all good- and we hope the legislature begins a meaningful discussion of how to increase voter and candidate participation in our elections.
Posted by Rick Lass at 7:45 AM
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