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The Toms River Regional School district passed a $147 million bond issue in a special school election on January 22, 2019

Voters headed to polls in four N.J. towns today

Special School Board elections in Edison, Woodbridge, Belmar and South Harrison

By David Wildstein, March 10 2020 11:40 am

Voters in four New Jersey municipalities will go to the polls today for Special School Board elections.

New Jersey law requires voter approval on school construction bond issues that will incur additional debt for towns.  Today is one of five days throughout the year that these types of elections may be held.

Edison is asking voters to approve a $183.2 million bond to expand school facilities and eliminate education in trailers. Last December, Edison voters rejected a $189.5 million school facilities improvement referendum by a 58%-42% margin.

Woodbridge wants voter approval to spend $87.7 million to build a new elementary school.

In Belmar, a plan to spend $9.7 million to renovate an elementary school.

Voters in South Harrison must consent to a proposal to spend $1 million to replace a gym floor at an elementary school.  The current floor contains mercury that could potentially emit harmful vapors.

The state will fund at least 40% of eligible school construction costs under the Educational Facilities Construction and Financing Act.

Absent controversies, these elections typically have the lowest possible voter turnout.

Vote-by-mail has changed that.

Milburn held a Special School Board election on January 28 to seek voter approval on a $20.5 million Capital and Maintenance Plan bond proposal.  It passed with 78% and had a 14% voter turnout. More than three out of ten voters (31%) used vote-by-mail ballots in that election.

The unsuccessful December 10, 2019 Edison referendum had a 10.5% voter turnout, with 39% of all ballots cast by mail.

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