Souza says she’ll make another run at moving trustee elections

After another May election — and another puny voter turnout — Sen. Mary Souza says she will take another run at an election consolidation bill.

“I’m planning on bringing a bill forward for the third year,” Souza told the Coeur d’Alene Press this week. “I am working with people in Boise as we speak so we can have a running start (for the next session).”

Souza, R-Coeur d’Alene, wants to move school board elections from May of odd-numbered years to the November election in even-numbered years. She abruptly pulled a version of the bill from the Senate floor this session.

Souza says the move would improve turnout in trustee elections. Critics say nonpartisan school board races should not share space on the ballot with partisan races for president, governor and Congress.

In several large counties, Tuesday’s turnout was sparse.

  • In Souza’s Kootenai County, only 5.7 percent of voters cast ballots in local races, including a contested trustee race in Post Falls.
  • No school elections were held in Ada County, but two auditorium district races were on the ballot. Turnout was 5.4 percent.
  • Several trustee races and school ballot measures were on ballots in Canyon County, and turnout was 6.3 percent.

Bonneville County was an outlier, as voters approved a new community college. Twenty-eight percent of voters cast ballots, the Idaho Falls Post Register reported this week.

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