Submitted by: PEI Home and School Federation
WHEREAS only approximately 3.5% of eligible voters on Prince Edward Island registered for mail-in ballots for the 2022 School Board Trustee Election1, and
WHEREAS the process of requiring eligible voters to register for a mail-in ballot, and having mail-in ballots as the only voting option, may have generated voter confusion and contributed to low voter turnout in the 2022 School Board Trustee Election,
WHEREAS the timing of the 2022 School Board Election, in November 2022, immediately following the October 2022 Municipal Elections, could have contributed to voter confusion and fatigue, and
WHEREAS a review of practices across Canada indicates that in those provinces where school board trustees are elected, school board elections take place concurrently with municipal elections4, and
WHEREAS the province of Saskatchewan has enacted new legislation to streamline its election processes to hold school board trustee and municipal elections concurrently5, and
WHEREAS in the province of New Brunswick, which uses a District Education Council (DEC) model in place of school board trustees6, DEC representatives are elected in conjunction with municipal elections in the province7;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the PEI Home and School Federation requests the Minister of Education and Lifelong Learning to work collaboratively with the Public Schools Branch and Elections PEI to hold School Board Trustee elections concurrently with Municipal Elections on Prince Edward Island, reflecting the practices of other jurisdictions with elected school boards across Canada, which include holding municipal and school board trustee elections concurrently and in-person.
Saturday, April 15, 2023
|Department of Education and Lifelong Learning
Public Schools Branch
Department of Education and Early Years, May 2, 2023: The Department of Education and Early Years will be holding meetings with Elections PEI in the coming weeks to discuss the successes and challenges of the 2022 school board elections. We will be examining ways to improve the process and one of the discussion points will be looking at the feasibility of your resolution to connect school board elections to municipal elections. The option has been explored in the past and there are several obstacles that have prevented it from being implemented. We will discuss this topic and others as we look to improve the process going forward. I can commit that your organization will continue to be consulted as we make adjustments in preparation for the next school board elections slated for 2025.