It sounds a little nonsensical to tell people to not vote a straight party ticket or use all of your votes when voting for school board members.

And there are good reasons why, at least for this veteran high school teacher.

To say that all people in the same political party want the same things for the school system and run on the same platforms is ignorant. Just because a person has an affiliation with a party does not mean that person holds the same perspective or offers the same type of solutions to issues. If anything, these past 15 years have shown that a single political party can spread itself apart and split into multiple factions that are in themselves echo chambers churning out rhetoric in total contradiction to what others in their “party” are saying.

It’s OK to vote for people in the school board race that are not in the same party but who may actually be talking about the same solutions and initiatives you agree with.

I am voting for two people from the party I am not registered with because those candidates resonate with what I think is good for the public school system – not a political party.

And when you vote for school board elections, you usually are given multiple choices and allowed to vote for more than one. In an “At-Large” election for a county/city seat like the local school board, a voter may get to choose UP TO FOUR CANDIDATES. That does not mean that you have to give four people your vote.

If you really only think that two people are qualified to have your vote, you should only vote for two. They still count. Your two “non-votes” will then not go to people who will go against what your wishes are. Why give out votes to people with whom you do not agree? Because you thought you had to?

The votes you give to people you did not support but you felt obligated to use all of the votes you are allowed have just as much power in the overall election as the votes you willingly gave to the people you openly supported. That has major consequences.

Think about it.

It’s hard to think of a more important local election for any locality.


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Clarence Choe