WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Switching up who you vote for. Wichita School Board Members are discussing a potential change to how members are elected. If approved in Monday’s board meeting, the change would appear on the November General Election ballot.
More than 13 people are signed up to talk about this possible election change. The school board president said this change in how candidates are elected could simplify the voting process.
“Our problem is every time we try to explain our system to the voters, it’s confusing. Matter of fact, I get confused sometimes,” said Stan Reeser, the president of the USD 259 school board.
Right now, there are six districts that make up USD 259. In a primary election, when candidates run for a position on the board in a district, only those who live in that district can vote on those particular candidates. In a general election, everyone can vote for all the candidates in all the districts. Monday’s discussion could let voters change that process.
“Hopefully, we’re putting a ballot question for the voters to decide in November on whether or not to go district-only elections,” said Reeser.
Meaning the process for the primary election would remain the same for the general election. Community advocate LaWanda DeShazer said this change would let neighborhoods decide who they want to represent their district.
“I do believe that there is the possibility of the district saying, ‘We want this person.’ Right? But then when you open it up to the entire city, that person could lose,” said DeShazer.
Reeser said the school board is the only election body that opens up to vote to everyone in the general election. He said he hopes everyone on the board all votes to let the public decide on this change.
“Even if you disagree with, if you are satisfied with the current confusing system, we could still put it on the ballot and let the voters decide,” said Reeser.
If school board members vote for this to move forward, it will become a ballot question in November for the public to decide if they would want to switch to district-only voting.