Michigan Bills To Eliminate or Curtail Statewide Partisan Elections for Educational Offices

Every even-numbered year, voters in Michigan choose eight statewide candidates for various educational offices, in partisan elections. There are always two seats for State Board of Education, and six seats for the governing bodies of state universities. Several bills are pending to either eliminate these elections, or restrict them to only mid-term year elections.

The bills will be heard on Thursday, Feb. 15, in committee. They are HB 5515, HB 5516, and HB 5533. If the legislature passes them, they would not go into effect unless the voters approve a constitutional amendment.

If those elections were entirely eliminated, that would make it somewhat more difficult for qualified parties to remain on the ballot. In 2016, without those educational offices, the only statewide office on the ballot would have been President. All parties had to poll at least 16,491 votes for a statewide office in order to remain on. In 2016 the Constitution Party (which in Michigan is the US Taxpayers Party) only got 16,139 votes for President, so it would have gone off the ballot. The Natural Law Party would also have gone off the ballot. Thanks to John Anthony LaPietra for this news.


Michigan Bills To Eliminate or Curtail Statewide Partisan Elections for Educational Offices — 5 Comments

  1. The stats for the 4 boards are used a bit to make the gerrymanders for USA Reps, Mich state Sens and Mich state Reps.

  2. The voting on these boards has sometimes been taken as a surrogate for party preference (since we don’t have voter registration by party in Michigan). In recent years, there have been efforts to get voters to declare which Presidential primary ballot they want — but maybe the parties are learning that this isn’t entirely reliable as an indicator of party preference.

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