Look who doesn’t want a big voter turnout in Gilford!
Article 23 on the Gilford town ballot, and Article 8 on the School ballot, for the March 12th town & school elections, both submitted by citizen petitions, would shift the future elections from the heart of Winter to early Spring, which will afford better opportunities for more Gilford voters to get to the polls and vote.
The New Hampshire legislature has provided in law for this option for many years because of our notorious Winter weather.
Bad weather and health concerns have inhibited many Gilford seniors and others who may be away for much of the Winter from voting. Even though absentee ballots are available, voters who are still in the area but are concerned about bad weather can only vote by absentee ballot the day before the election. And many voters simply do not take the time and effort to obtain and submit absentee ballots whether they are out of town or not.
The principal advocate for opposing these changes is the chair of the Belknap County Democrats, who are tied at the waist with the teachers’ unions at the failing Gilford schools, which continuously seek more money, with a steadily declining student enrollment and mediocre educational results when measured by the standardized test scores of their students.
Gilford spends over $23,000 per enrolled student in its 3 schools, far above the statewide average, while producing educational outcomes that are, to be very generous, mediocre at best.
The “schoolies” seem to be very well organized to turn out their most rabid supporters to vote early on election day no matter what the weather might be, and those Gilford residents who might wish to impose some financial discipline on the town and schools are left either to try to fight the bad weather, or stay at home and gripe about their taxes for the next year.
Other advocates for the status quo are the Gilford politicos & administrators who seem to think that the Gilford voters work for them instead of the other way around. They think it might be too much trouble to have to deal with a change in the fiscal year for budgeting purposes, but applicable law provides for this and it would not be rocket science.
Elections certainly do have consequences.