FAIRFIELD — Cheaper – with the bonus of a better turnout.
That’s why three candidates, running Nov. 5 to represent Area 2 on the Travis School District board of trustees, say they support consolidating the next election to an even year.
Donna Bishop, John Dickerson and Riitta DeAnda are joined by Trustee Gary Craig, who said trustees will take up the matter when they meet Nov. 12.
“The election should be consolidated,” he said. “That’s been my position and it still is today.”
Dickerson said the change would save the school district more than $20,000.
Board President Angela Weinzinger countered that shifting the Travis election to even years when voters choose congressional representatives and other candidates would push the local contests down to the bottom of the ballot.
“I don’t want school board elections to get lost,” Weinzinger said.
She said the elections would not be taken seriously and wants to keep the odd year elections that make the Travis contest one of the few on the Nov. 5 ballot.
John Gardner, deputy registrar of voters, said the Travis and Dixon school districts, along with some irrigation districts, continue odd year elections. The Fairfield-Suisun School District and others have switched to even years, he said. The Fairfield City Council made the switch as well.
“It will save money,” Gardner said. “There’s no guarantee on the turnout.”
More voters, he said, go to the ballot in even election years – like 2014 – than odd years – like 2013.
“The disadvantage is the ballot is much bigger,” said Gardner, who described the switch as something of a trade-off. School districts and other government agencies have until 240 days before the next scheduled election to change.
Gardner said the county elections office does not track whether voting declines for offices further down the ballot in an even year when presidential races attract strong voter interest. How voters view local elections amid more high-profile national and state contests seems an unknown, Gardner said.
“It’s hard for us to say,” he said. “Every ballot is different.”
Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or email@example.com.