ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) — There's no denying that Tuesdayâ€™s school board and bond election was important, but turnout was so low each of the nearly 18,000 votes cost taxpayers about $30.
Still, the decisions were huge for this weekâ€™s school board election in the Albuquerque Public Schools District, which covers nearly all of Bernalillo County and a piece of Sandoval County. Voters had to decide if money should be spent on aging schools and
who should sit on the school board for the state's largest district.
County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver said a little more than 3 percent of all registered voters bothered to cast a ballot.
â€śItâ€™s an expensive election, yes,â€ť Toulouse Oliver said.
Especially when, the general election was just four months ago and a municipal election is coming in October.
The question many are asking: Why not combine school board elections with others where turnout is much higher?
The county clerk said she canâ€™t because language in the state's constitution doesn't allow it...
â€śIn 1912 when our constitution was created in the state women didn't have the right to vote," she said. "However, the founders of the New Mexico Constitution determined that it would be good to allow women to participate in school board elections because they were in charge of the children."
Now, for the second time, county clerks are calling on state lawmakers to change that outdated language.
APS Board Member Kathy Korte said the cost-saving benefits and possibly getting more voter turnout are a plus, but she's heard of some cons.
â€śMore often than not the school board election might be at the bottom of a ballot, and you get ballot fatigue," she said. "Is the voter going to go all the way down that ballot?"
Korte said another concern is issues like school board races and school construction could get lost in a bigger election that deals with higher-profile political races and better-publicized projects.
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New Mexico is located in the southwestern region of the U.S. Inhabited by Native American populations for many centuries, New Mexico has also been part of Imperial Spain, part of Mexico, and a U.S. territory.