Ballotpedia to cover nearly 10,000 school board elections in 2024

Welcome to the Friday, February 16, Brew. 

By: Samuel Wonacott

There will be no Brew on Monday, Feb. 19, in observance of President’s Day. We’ll see you back in your inboxes on Feb. 20.

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Ballotpedia to cover nearly half the country’s school board elections in 2024
  2. Signatures submitted for North Dakota initiative creating age limits for congressional candidates
  3. #FridayTrivia: How many states have voter participation deadlines in March?

Ballotpedia to cover nearly half the country’s school board elections in 2024

Tens of thousands of elections will take place this year up and down the ballot, including for school board. Hall Pass, our weekly education newsletter, is your one-stop shop for helping you stay current on school board elections, education legislation, and the debates influencing state and local K-12 policies. 

The story below first appeared in this week’s edition of Hall Pass. Click here to read the full story, and subscribe today to get our next edition in your inbox on Wednesday.  

This year, approximately 21,509 school board seats in 40 states are up for election—and Ballotpedia will cover nearly 10,000 of them. 

In 2023, Ballotpedia covered 8,750 seats in 28 states.

Ballotpedia’s 2024 school board coverage

Ballotpedia is covering school board elections in the 100 most populous cities, the 200 largest districts by student enrollment, and all school board elections in Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Ballotpedia will also cover additional school board elections this year as our coverage expands. In all, Ballotpedia is planning to cover elections for around 10,000 school board seats in more than 23 states. 

The map below shows the states where we will cover school board elections. More states will be added to the map as we continue to conduct local election research. 

In 2023, Ballotpedia covered every school board election in Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. Click here to learn more about that coverage. 

School board elections nationwide

The 21,509 seats up for election in 40 states this year represent 26% of all school board seats in the country. Most school districts hold staggered elections, meaning that not all seats are up for election in any given year. 

  • In 2023, there were 24,200 seats up for election in 35 states. 
  • Most districts have half or one-third of seats up for election this year, and others have a quarter or one-fifth of seats up.
  • The 21,509 seats up for election do not include special elections to fill vacancies.

Those 40 states have 10,391 school districts and roughly 8,800 of them are holding elections.

  • The approximately 8,800 school districts with elections this year represent 68% of all districts in the country and 85% of the total districts within the 40 states.

Regular general school board elections in 2024 will take place on at least 12 different dates. Some states will have school board elections on multiple dates. In some states, school board election dates can vary by district. School districts in at least 14 states could also hold primary elections.

To learn more about Ballotpedia’s 2024 school board coverage, click the link below.

Keep reading 

Signatures submitted for North Dakota initiative creating age limits for congressional candidates

Let’s take a look at an initiative in North Dakota that would impose age limits on congressional candidates. The initiative, the first of its kind, could appear on the ballot on June 11, when the state holds primary elections. 

The Retire Congress North Dakota campaign submitted 42,000 signatures for the North Dakota Congressional Age Limits Initiative on Feb. 9. To qualify for the ballot, 31,164 must be valid. The secretary of state’s office must verify signatures by March 15.

The initiative would prohibit a person from being elected or appointed to the U.S. Senate or House if they would reach the age of 81 by Dec. 31 of the year before their term ends.

University of North Dakota Political Science Professor Mark Jendrysik said that the initiative could serve as a test case to determine if the U.S. Supreme Court would allow individual states to set congressional age limits.

The U.S. Supreme Court has weighed in on state-imposed qualifications for congressional candidates before. In 1995, the court ruled 5-4 in U.S. Term Limits Inc. v. Thornton that states cannot impose qualifications for prospective members of Congress that are stricter than those specified in the U.S. Constitution. The ruling did not apply to state government officials. 

The initiative includes a provision that would take effect if a court invalidated the age restriction. Candidates who would have been deemed ineligible under the measure would have their ages printed next to their name on the ballot—specifically, “Candidate would be [age] years old by end of term.” 

Retire Congress North Dakota Chairman Jared Hendrix led the 2022 campaign that sponsored Measure 1, which voters approved 63.43% to 36.57%. Measure 1 imposed term limits on the governor and state legislators. The measure also provided that only citizenship initiative, and not state lawmakers, could change the amendment. 

The Constitution of North Dakota states: “An individual shall not serve as a member of the house of representatives for a cumulative period of time amounting to more than eight years. An individual shall not serve as a member of the senate for a cumulative period of time amounting to more than eight years.” The constitution also says: “An individual shall not be elected to the office of governor more than twice.” 

Sixteen states impose term limits on state lawmakers. In six of those states, including North Dakota, the limit is a lifetime limit. In the other 10 states, lawmakers who run out their time in a chamber can run again after a certain number of years. Voters in six additional states have voted to impose term limits, only for courts or lawmakers to reverse those measures. In two cases, the state legislature voted to nullify the limits imposed by voters, while in four other states, courts nullified the voter-imposed limits, primarily for technical reasons.

Since 2010, six term-limit measures related to state lawmakers have appeared on the ballot. Voters approved five and rejected one.

Learn more about the North Dakota Congressional Age Limits Initiative at the link below.
Keep reading 

#FridayTrivia: How many states have voter participation deadlines in March? 

In the Monday Brew, we looked at voter participation deadlines over the next few weeks. Those include voter registration deadlines, early voting opening and closing dates, deadlines to request absentee/mail-in ballots, and deadlines to return those ballots. 

Throughout February, 27 states have important participation deadlines. But February is more than half over (if you can believe it), and March is nearly here. March will be the busiest month for primary elections in the 2024 election cycle with 33 separate primaries and caucuses scheduled across 30 states.

How many states have voter participation deadlines in March?

  1. 33
  2. 16
  3. 28
  4. 9