How Many Votes Does it Take to Win a School Board Seat?
June 28, 2019

It only takes an average of 315 votes to get a five-year term on a Delaware school board.

This from a first-of-its kind, interactive tool recently released by DelawareCAN. The tool serves as an inside look at Delaware school board election results over the past decade. This tool builds on the “Who Runs Our Schools?” campaign that won 2018 PIE Network Game Changer of the Year at the annual Eddies! Awards. 

Using the data visualization tool Tableau, DelawareCAN built a database of every school board race from the past ten years, highlighting the number of votes each candidate received. Users can sort by year, district, and who actually won seats.

Among many insights, the numbers highlighted the following:

  • In one of the state’s largest districts, Christina School District, 378 votes (out of over 120,000 eligible voters) won a five-year term and oversight of more than $250 million of taxpayer resources.
  • The most votes any candidate has received over the last decade is 1,762, and candidates have won school board seats with as few as 65 votes.
  • The closest school board race was decided by two votes

This project was spearheaded by an alumna of DelawareCAN’s Youth Advocacy Council, Alphina Kamara (watch her speak at a TedX Youth event here). Earlier this spring, DelawareCAN’s Youth Advocacy Council worked to learn more about ongoing school board races by hosting a candidate forum.

If you’re interested in learning more about how DelawareCAN built this interactive tool or the strategy behind their Who Runs our Schools? Campaign, reach out

To nominate this or other powerful advocacy campaigns for a 2019 Eddie!, visit the nomination form.  


Ashley Schmidt

Ashley is PIE Network's Senior Director of Member Engagement & Communications


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