Mail in balloting may soon come to a school district referendum near you if Delaware State Senator, Karen Peterson and the sponsored of SB 165 succeed in getting the bill enacted.
Senate Bill 165, titled “An Act to Amend the Delaware Code Relating to Public School Elections” sets the date of public school board elections as the second Tuesday of May and enable duly registered voters to mail in their ballots in advance. Traditional polling places will be eliminated and all school board elections shall be conducted by the Delaware Department of Elections through its county offices under Title 15 of the Delaware Code. All expenses of said elections (except return postage) shall be borne by the State of Delaware, by and through the Department of Elections.
The provisions of the proposed legislation are applicable to all local elections and referenda currently conducted by public school districts or the State Board of Education including: school board elections and referenda, questions of approval of real estate tax increases, capital improvements, special projects, bond issues; questions of consolidation, division or reorganization of school districts, etc. Elections in cases in which a school board candidate runs unopposed will not be held, however the sole candidate shall be duly certified by the Department of Elections and allots will not be tallied for candidates who withdraw.
The bill is co-sponsored by:
State Senators. Brian Bushweller (D-Dover) and Margaret Rose Henry (D-Wilmington); and State Representatives. Stephanie Bolden (D-Wilmington), Deborah Hudson (R-Fairthorne) and Rep. Michael Ramone (R-Middle Run Valley).
The entire text of SB 160 is available on-line at :http://legis.delaware.gov/LIS/lis148.nsf/vwLegislation/SB+165/
Further details are also available in the 10/2/2015 Coastal Point in an in-depth article by Laura Walter.