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Contact: Richard Vespucci
For Release: April 14, 2000

Commissioner Hespe Urges Voter Participation in April 18 School Elections

Commissioner of Education David Hespe today urged voters to cast ballots in the upcoming school elections. Voters throughout New Jersey will be voting on approximately $7.5 billion in local taxes to support their school budgets on Tuesday, April 18. In addition, citizens will be voting for candidates seeking seats on local school boards.

"I encourage voters to take the time to review their local school budgets and to participate in this year's election," Commissioner Hespe said. "New Jersey spends more tax dollars to support the schools than they do any other public enterprise.

"Despite the dollar amounts at stake, only slightly more than 13 percent of registered voters cast ballots last year," the Commissioner continued. "We need to get more people involved in the decisions that make a major impact on their children and on their property taxes."

On school election day, polls must be open between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. School boards make designated additional polling hours between the hours of 7 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Last year, New Jersey voters approved 82.8 percent of school budgets – the second highest statewide total since records were kept beginning in 1977.