The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Top News

September 13, 2013

LEVINE: Election turnout disappoints again

Tuesday proved to be the same old story for school board elections.

Clinton County saw 1,564 out of 33,009 registered voters go to the ballot box. In Clinton, where six people were vying for four seats, 5.2 percent of registered voters went to the polls. If I was being an optimist, I would compare that result to the election in 2011 when only 4.5 percent of registered voters actually cast a ballot.

But in 2009, the turnout was closer to 6 percent in Clinton.

So, recent elections, going back to the mid-2000s, have hovered around 5 percent voter turnout. In the early 2000s, the number hovered closer to 10 percent.

That’s awful. But it’s not just Clinton or Clinton County. Almost all of Iowa’s school board elections register less than 10 percent.

There are many issues, one being the most glaring, that this election is not on the traditional election date in November.

Iowa code states that the election must be held in September and it doesn’t appear that legislators are too concerned with changing that election date. Clinton County Auditor Eric Van Lancker, who was frustrated with Tuesday’s turnout, said there’s no national standard for school board elections. Moving the elections could be a faint possibility, but logistics would make it difficult to pair the school board election with the city election, based on boundaries and polling locations.

Also, campaigning is done much differently than other elections. There aren’t the constant reminders from candidates about other people’s flaws during school board elections.

Like it or not, those are effective, and the constant information, like mailings, commercials and advertisements are a good way to remind people to circle their calendar.

Citizens don’t get that during school board elections. There are a few signs and the PTA held one public candidate forum. But that’s about it.

Text Only
Top News
  • Man charged in meth case

    A Clinton man has been charged with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine.

    Timothy W. Atkinson, 35, 1419 Honey Lane, was arrested Sunday after Clinton police executed a search warrant at his residence.

    April 23, 2014

  • Judge denies guilty plea withdrawal

    A Clinton County District Court judge has denied a man's attempt at withdrawing a guilty plea.

    Eric R. Hook, 45, 900 S. 10th St., was sentenced last week to no more than five years in prison for willful injury causing bodily injury, a class D felony. He also was given a sentence of no more than two years in prison for domestic abuse assault, second offense, to be served concurrently.

    April 23, 2014

  • Medication drop boxes available

    Although no formal event is planned in Clinton County for Saturday’s nationwide Medication Take Back Day, area officials are reminding residents this week about permanent drop boxes aT area law enforcement agencies.
    Unused or expired medications can be disposed of during normal business hours in the lobbies of four police departments in Clinton County — Camanche Police Department, 819 South Washington Blvd.; Clinton County Sheriff’s office, 241 Seventh Ave. North; Clinton Police Department, 116 Sixth Ave. South; DeWitt Police Department, 606 Ninth St.

    April 23, 2014

  • 10 things to know for today

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

    April 23, 2014

  • 4-23-14 Clinton Middle School Forum Photo 2 Leadership Team field concerns from parents CLINTON -- Progress on the new Clinton Middle School continues to move forward and as the deadline for completion draws nearer, school district officials and staff members are interested to know how the community is feeling about the project. What th

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Iowa State says data breach could affect thousands

    The Social Security numbers of nearly 30,000 people who enrolled at Iowa State University over a 17-year period were exposed in a data breach, school officials announced Tuesday.

    Five information technology servers on the Ames campus were hacked, and those servers contained the Social Security numbers of people who took certain classes at the school between 1995 and 2012, ISU officials said in a news release. There is no evidence that any of the personal files were accessed, the school said, and the records didn't contain student financial information.

    April 22, 2014

  • Iowa woman arrested after child falls from window

    A Manchester woman has been arrested after her toddler fell from a second-story apartment window.

    The Manchester Police Department says 27-year-old Stacy Neuhaus was arrested Monday in Iowa City. She faces charges of child endangerment. Court records do not list an attorney.

    April 22, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 4.42.47 PM.png VIDEO: Leopard attacks crowd in India

    A leopard caused panic in the city of Chandrapur when it sprung from the roof of a house and charged at rescue workers.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • In cuffs... 'Warlock' in West Virginia accused of sexual assault

    Police in West Virginia say a man claiming to be a “warlock” used promises of magical spells to lure children into committing sexual acts with him.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cats outsmart the researchers

    I knew a lot had been written about dogs, and I assumed there must be at least a handful of studies on cats. But after weeks of scouring the scientific world for someone - anyone - who studied how cats think, all I was left with was this statement, laughed over the phone to me by one of the world's top animal cognition experts, a Hungarian scientist named Ádám Miklósi.

    April 22, 2014

AP Video