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May 3 Elections Focus on School Bond Proposals

Today is Election Day — and Northern Michigan’s News Leader is spending the day following 24 local races across our area.

A number of schools are putting forth bond proposals to improve student technology, security and buildings.

We’re live in Hanover Township, a voting stop in Wexford County.

Polls open in just a few hours at 7:00 this morning.

With several school bond proposals up for vote, today’s a day for voters to make decisions that will impact young people and their schooling.

“May elections have always been school elections,” said Antrim County Clerk Sheryl Guy.

Antrim County has four elections on the ballot for schools.

The biggest race is for Elk Rapids Public Schools, which is looking at a millage decrease that would save taxpayers 16 dollars a year.

Other races involve Boyne City Schools, Cheboygan-Otsego-Presque Isle and Char-Em Intermediate School District.

They’re expecting anywhere from 20 to 40 percent voter turnout.

“Your snowbirds are back, and they have grandchildren, and schools are an issue that’s very passionate to the public.”

It takes several months to prep ballots.

Schools and the county clerk have to agree on the ballot’s specific wording before they can be finalized.

“We gather the information and put it onto the ballot, and then the ballot goes back to the schools to proof to make sure the language is correct.”

Buckley Community Schools in Wexford County is looking at a 2,000,000-dollar millage renewal to build two new classrooms and get every student in fifth through 12th grades computers.

“We have had community meetings, community forums. Distributed brochures and put out information to people so they can make an informed decision. It’s been a very personal campaign,” said Buckley Community Schools Superintendent Laurie Walles.

Walles says if the millage passes, they’ll be able to get started on projects in August.

“Certainly we hope our parents turn out because this is a direct benefit for their children.”

Polls close at 8 p.m. to view your sample ballot.

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