November-Only Bond Issues

Bond issue questions are some of the most important and impactful decisions on local taxpayers, and maximizing public input by moving all bond issue questions to the November ballot is the right thing to do.

 

Currently, local jurisdictions have three opportunities to hold bond issue elections in odd-numbered years and two opportunities in even-numbered years. These elections may take place in either March or September, and in odd-numbered year Novembers as well.

In 2017, the Iowa Legislature passed legislation that moved school board elections from September to November to improve voter participation. This change was part of historic turnout in local elections last fall. Most Iowa citizens are aware that elections take place in November each year but don’t have the same awareness about the many other elections that may occur throughout the year.

For this reason, all bond issue elections should be placed on November election ballots for consideration of the electorate. Iowa code already recognizes the gravity of bond issue decisions by requiring a sixty percent threshold for passage, rather than a simple majority threshold. To ensure that the greatest possible participation of the electorate occurs, bond issue elections should be held at the most commonly recognized time for elections: the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. Exception should be made for bond issues that may arise in direct response to a natural disaster or other public emergency.

Bond issue questions are some of the most important and impactful decisions on local taxpayers, and maximizing public input by moving all bond issue questions to the November ballot is the right thing to do.

 

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