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For Release: April 12, 2004


Governor McGreevey and Education Commissioner Librera
Urge Voters to Participate in April 20 Annual School Elections

Governor James E. McGreevey and Commissioner of Education William L. Librera are urging voters throughout New Jersey to vote in the upcoming annual school elections. More than 4.6 million registered voters statewide have the opportunity on Tuesday, April 20 to decide the fate of 550 local school budgets that carry a combined local tax levy of more than $9.5 billion. Also at stake are more than 1,500 seats on local school boards.

"Historically, voter participation in the school elections has been well below participation in the November general elections, said Gov. McGreevey. "This year, I ask New Jersey’s registered voters to begin a new trend by taking advantage of this annual opportunity in much greater numbers."

"It is vitally important for schools throughout New Jersey to develop effective and efficient programs to provide a high quality education for all students," said Commissioner Librera. "I strongly encourage all voters to be informed about the proposed budgets in their communities, as well as the positions taken by local candidates for the board of education, before casting their ballots on April 20."

Polls must be open on school election day between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. School boards may designate additional polling hours between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Last year, approximately 15.2 percent of registered voters approved 62.4 percent of school budgets statewide.