SPRINGFIELD- Illinoisans may be given the opportunity to vote for their school board members alongside candidates for the White House and U.S. Senate under a proposal Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) advanced in an effort to fight voter fatigue.

“School Board members make important decisions about the future of our children and our property tax dollars. Decisions they shouldn’t take lightly and neither should voters,” said Cullerton.  “We need to do as much as possible to increase voter participation for school board elections. We can’t force people to go out and vote but we can take steps to make it easier.”

Cullerton introduced Senate Bill 669 after observing an extreme decrease in voter participation during consolidated elections. In the 23rd State Senate District alone there was a 58 percentage drop off in voter turnout in the 2013 consolidated elections compared to 2014 general elections.

“Elections are when we hold our elected officials accountable.  Our children can’t afford for only about 20 percent of our registered voters to elect representatives to make vital decisions concerning their future,” said Cullerton. “Small turnouts allow special interest groups to dominate elections and don’t allow for the best candidates to receive a fair chance.”

SB 669 passed out of the Senate’s Executive Committee and will now move to the full Senate for consideration.

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