Tuesday?s local elections for city council may not draw a record turnout of voters?except maybe in Marion, where multiple candidates have filed for city council and mayor. Even so, a state bill in Topeka that proposes to move spring local elections to the fall ballot is unlikely to achieve its goal of increasing voter participation. In fact, it likely will harm small cities and schools if local elections become partisan, as is feared. Small towns and school districts are far better off when partisanship is not part of the voting conversation, and candidates are evaluated on the basis of their vision, reputation and local involvement.
As Rep. Don Schroeder and other observers have noted, this bill is designed to address a problem that simply doesn?t exist. Shelve it. ?DR