The New Hampshire primaries aren’t the only elections today.
A few special elections will also take place today in Central Arkansas. Special elections are elections conveniently scheduled by local politicians on dates that garner remarkably low voter turnout.
The three special elections in Central Arkansas are a proposed millage increase from 39.2 mills to 44.9 mills in the White Hall School District for “enlarging the auditorium and fine arts center,” a 7.6 millage increase to “help finance the construction of new and expanded school buildings” in the Jacksonville/North Pulaski School District, and “approve bonds of up to $37.5 million to fund improvements to and expansion of the Arts Center, and renovations to the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History” in Little Rock.
If you want an idea of the kind of turnout these kinds of elections get, here’s a photo from a polling place today by Americans For Prosperity’s David Ray.
Even if you’re agnostic on whether the increased school funding in two districts and more government spending on the Arts Center are worthwhile, you’d at least have to admit it’d be better to hold these elections at a date when more people would make it out to the polls.
For instance, I hear there’s a primary election in Arkansas in March.
I’d suspect more people will be voting on that day — and thus we’d be able to get a true democratic consensus on whether these projects are needed.
Special elections like the ones held today could have been stopped in a legislative session last year. HB 1422 would have ensured that elections like the ones held this week would only be held on primary dates in May or general elections in November. Under HB 1422, local bureaucrats and politicians would be forced to persuade a larger percentage of the voting public that the tax increase up for a vote was truly needed. Unfortunately, HB 1422 failed in committee.
Polls close at 7:30 p.m. tonight in Arkansas.