LWV on ND Session: School Board Races, Early Voting Policy Eyed
Friday, December 16, 2022
The midterm elections are in the rearview mirror, but some North Dakotans are looking ahead to the legislative session as they monitor possible changes to voting policy. One group is seeking reforms related to school board elections in the state.
Prior to recent election cycles, races for school board seats were often deemed non-political and without much tension. But special-interest groups pushing for book bans and against certain race-related teachings have altered the landscape in many states.
Mary Tintes, vice president of the League of Women Voters of North Dakota, said it wasn't as pronounced in North Dakota, but her group wants to avoid it becoming a bigger problem.
"The focus should be on what's best for the education of the kids in that district," she said, "and not some sort of political agenda."
School-board candidates in North Dakota aren't required to file campaign finance reports. The League wants to see legislation to change that, arguing voters should know which groups are backing these candidates. Organizations that align with candidates who have controversial views often cite parental rights and voice concerns about some types of curricula as "indoctrinating" students.
Supporters of creating more transparency in school-board candidate filings say it should be done carefully to not discourage people from running. Meanwhile, Tintes said the League is calling on lawmakers to reject any bills that might surface to restrict access to the polls, including early voting.
"We want to see that all eligible voters have every opportunity to cast their votes in a way that's most convenient for them," she said.
In North Dakota's last legislative session, a plan to reduce the number of early voting days failed. Backers of that plan cited the need to restore election integrity as false claims mounted about the 2020 presidential election. However, the League and election administrators have said early voting is secure and is a component of a healthy democracy.
Support for this reporting was provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
get more stories like this via email
Groups fighting for Palestinian rights are praising a new fact sheet on religious discrimination from the U.S. Department of Education's Office for …
Lawmakers and immigrants-rights activists in the Commonwealth are hoping to pass the Language Access and Inclusion Act, which would dramatically …
New U.S. Department of Agriculture rules will target fraud and increase oversight of the $64 billion-a-year organic food industry. In Iowa, the …
By Jennifer Weiss-Wolf for Ms. Magazine.Broadcast version by Eric Galatas for Colorado News Connection reporting for the Ms. Magazine-Public News …
Health and Wellness
With Black History Month underway, Wisconsin researchers and support groups are highlighting the disparities in cases of Alzheimer's disease…
North Dakota's plan to boost animal agriculture has reignited a thorny issue: loosening restrictions on corporate ownership of farms. The state said …
Oregon is pursuing an aggressive climate plan to switch to renewable energy sources, but it faces one often overlooked issue: enough high-voltage …
A measure in the Washington State Legislature would provide free school meals to K-12 students, but nutrition service workers are worried they are …