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Posted on Wed, Dec 2, 2009 : 8:40 p.m.

Ann Arbor school board considers switching election cycles

By David Jesse

The Ann Arbor school board is considering changing its election cycle to save money.

The board was presented with four options at its meeting Wednesday night.

The district currently holds elections in May. The May 2009 election cost the district $85,000.

The board's options are:

  • Change the election date every year to November.
  • Hold a biannual odd-year May election.
  • Hold a biannual odd-year November election.
  • Hold a biannual even-year November election.

The district could see savings up to $90,000 per year under a change.

The biggest savings would come from going to a biannual even-year November election. That would put the school board election on the same ballot as state and national elections. As a result, the bulk of the cost of the election would be picked up by other municipalities.

Right now, the only Washtenaw County school districts with school board elections in November are Whitmore Lake and Lincoln. But the Ypsilanti and Saline school districts are also considering making the switch to November.

Board members had a number of questions about the options and how the change would play out.

Trustee Randy Friedman said as the school district looks at budget cuts and tries to stay away from cutting the classroom, the amount of savings should be a big factor in the decision.

The board could vote on the plan on Dec. 16.

David Jesse covers K-12 education for He can be reached at or at 734-623-2534.


Brian Kuehn

Thu, Dec 3, 2009 : 2:45 p.m.

Clearly an even-year November election date makes the most sense. Save the $90,000 and make it easier on the local voter with only one trip to the polls.


Thu, Dec 3, 2009 : 1:19 a.m.

Please note: "Biannual" means semi-annual. "Biennial" means every other year.

Basic Bob

Wed, Dec 2, 2009 : 10:53 p.m.

I like the biannual even-year November option. Not only will it save the most money, it will attract the most voters because of the state and national elections. Hopefully the idea of higher turnout doesn't discourage the board from choosing it.