The Edmond Sun

February 27, 2012

Our View — Voter turnout remains tepid

The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — On Feb. 14, 809 voters decided between two candidates for the Edmond Public Schools District 2 seat on the Board of Education. That number of voters would not sound so bad all by itself, but when you stand it up next to the number of registered voters in the district, the story changes quite a bit. According to the Oklahoma County Election Board, there are 17,475 voters in that school board district in northwest Edmond.

Even with Secretary Doug Sanderson’s caution that the 17,475 number is probably a little high due to an impending purge of the rolls for those who have moved away or passed away, that is still barely 5 percent voter turnout in a pivotal board election.

Of the 12 Oklahoma County municipalities and school districts that had elections Feb. 14, only Choctaw, Mustang, Piedmont, Choctaw-Nicoma Park and McLoud had lower voter turnout than in Edmond’s District 2 seat.

Incumbent Kathleen Duncan won the day in a very hard-fought re-election race. She pulled only 53 more votes than her opponent Steve Roy.

We want to congratulate Duncan on her win. We wish her continued success as a board member as she continues to focus on student-centric policies and fiscal responsibility within the district.

One solution to the low voter turnout would be considering rescheduling these races in the future to coincide with larger election dates. This election cycle could have encompassed the upcoming March presidential preferential primary election and saved the district some money by sharing an election date.

Another solution is to remind voters of just how critical the future of the city’s school district is to their pocketbooks. The success of our high-caliber district has a direct impact on our residents’ maintaining their desirable property values. Whether you have children currently in the district or not, your vote matters in how the district is operated.

Those who chose to ignore their civic duty on Feb. 14 will have little opportunity for any complaints in the next five years.