Several organizations have published voter guides and candidate profiles to help residents make informed choices in Delaware’s May 9 school board elections.
There are guides from Citizens for Delaware Schools, the League of Women Voters and the Delaware ACLU.
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m on May 9. The Department of Elections website has contact information for all candidates and requirements for voter eligibility.
Forty candidates are listed as having live campaigns statewide on the department’s site, with some running unopposed. Five candidates filed and withdrew.
Citizens for Delaware Schools
“Anything we can do to give people one more source of information will help,” said Nancy Mercante, co-founder of Citizens for Delaware Schools. “It’s not endorsing anybody. It’s just simply laying out in their own words their positions on issues.”
Citizens for Delaware Schools profiles 13 candidates, and each one has an open-ended answer to their positions on academics, parental involvement and rights, school funding and civics education.
The profiles also share a candidate’s priorities if elected, and why they are running.
While Citizens for Delaware Schools doesn’t endorse candidates, it does indicate in its guide if a candidate is aligned to the group’s values.
The group’s mission is to seek out school board candidates who support policies that will provide an educational curriculum beneficial to all students in a safe, supportive environment, and to provide a support network and training to help those candidates conduct successful campaigns.
The nonprofit reached out to all 40 school board candidates in the state, Mercante said, but many did not respond to their survey questions.
“It’s always been difficult to find information about the candidates themselves,” Mercante said, “And I often find that the questions asked in these other locations are not always the questions I would ask or questions that voters ask.”
Mercante said her organization encourages voters to do their homework, research other voter guides or attend public forums so that they have a better holistic understanding of what a candidate stands for.
League of Women Voters
The League of Women Voters aims to empower voters and defend democracy through advocacy, education and litigation at the local, state and national levels.
In its voter guide, voters can see side-by-side comparisons of candidates’ biographies, visions for the future and positions on critical and often controversial topics.
Some issues include providing support for student mental health issues, community calls for removing books and programs and attracting and retaining quality teachers, according to Jill Itzkowitz, Delaware chair of VOTE411, the league’s election site.
“This online one-stop shop for election information provides voters with simple, accessible tools to help them navigate the voting process,” she said. “VOTE411 provides personalized candidate information, voter registration details, polling place locations, and other helpful election information.”
The Delaware ACLU guide includes voter information, polling places, upcoming meet-the-candidate forums and candidate profiles for 16 candidates. It claims the other candidates “refused to respond” to their survey questions.
The guide also highlights candidates’ positions on key issues like budget equity, restorative discipline, inclusion in schools and health and safety in schools.
Raised in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Jarek earned a B.A. in journalism and a B.A. in political science from Temple University in 2021. After running CNN’s Michael Smerconish’s YouTube channel, Jarek became a reporter for the Bucks County Herald before joining Delaware LIVE News.
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