Advocating for local School Board elections to coincide with general elections
Establishing a state-wide not-for-profit coalition, bringing together grassroots volunteers in the state of Oklahoma.
The Oklahoma Election Project (OEP) is a not-for-profit coalition, bringing together grassroots volunteers in the state of Oklahoma.
OEP is a nonpartisan group advocating for positive change in alignment with the coalition objectives.
Why Move School Board Elections?
1. Why does the school board election need to move?
There is only a very small percentage of voters that turn out for the school board
elections versus the general elections. This is due to many factors, including lack of
state-wide advertisements. Having a low voter turnout may mean that the majority
opinion of voters is not being represented. Moving the elections allows the largest
percentage of voters to have a voice in the election.
2. Why will moving the school board election improve the process?
Many voters are unaware of school board elections and when they occur. State law
allows for time away from work, but has very specific criteria that can not always be
met. This has been cited as a hardship on voters that can’t make it to every election
throughout the year. For the candidates, it is very expensive to get the word out that
an election is occurring. There is not state-wide visibility or advertisements during the
February and April elections at the same level as the general elections. This puts the
burden on the individual candidates. Moving the school board elections will improve
awareness and increase voter turnout.
3. Why is education an important issue in Oklahoma?
Education helps develop critical skills like decision-making, mental agility, problem-
solving, and logical thinking. Education provides students opportunities and
challenges to be successful members of society. Education has the power to impact
individuals, communities, and future generations.
You can measure how well our public education system compares to other states to
get a better picture of how Oklahoma is doing.
Register for the next Oklahoma Election Project Capitol Day:
We will gather together at the capitol to bring awareness to and encourage approval of the supported legislation. Teams will break out to meet with legislators from their districts. It will be a day full of fun, meeting new people, and showing our support for the objectives of the coalition. The 2023 Objective #1 is Moving OK School Board Elections. Join the movementRegister
1. How many voters typically turn out for school board elections in Feb/April versus how many
voters typically turn out for general elections in Aug/Sept/Nov?
2. Will it cost to move the school board election?
No, there is no cost in moving the school board election. Because the school board
elections would move to the same date as other elections, there is no fiscal impact to
move the elections.
3. Will the election campaign be more expensive for potential school board candidates?
No. In fact, the expense for the school board candidates would decrease. A large part
of school board campaign materials is solely spent to make voters aware of this extra
election. That burden would be significantly reduced when the elections are all held at
the same time. Thus, the individual cost to each candidate would be reduced.
4. Will school board candidates live in the same community as the board on which they
Yes, it is required that school board candidates live in the same school district ward for
the office they are seeking. Moving the election date does not change this
5. Will school board seats become a partisan position?
No, moving the school board elections will not change the race to a partisan race.
Currently Oklahoma statutes would maintain that the school board elections are a non-
partisan race. Moving the race does not affect that part of the statutes.
6. Is there a potential for more use of “dark money” if the school board elections are moved?
No, there is not a potential for more use of “dark money” by moving the school board
elections. Dark Money refers to political spending meant to influence the decision of a
voter, where the donor is not disclosed and the source of the money is unknown. The
laws about the use of money, reporting of donors, and any use of dark money, does
not change when moving the election. There would be no evidence to support that an
increase in the use of “dark money” would be expected.