Voter Turnout

How often have you heard someone say “The problem is, East Ramapo parents don’t vote!”  Former school board president (now a convicted felon) Nathan Rothschild put it this way:  “If you don’t get up and vote, then you deserve what you get.”

But is it true that East Ramapo Parents don’t vote?  First, we must remember that most eligible voters do not currently have children in school.  There is no record kept of voters family makeup, so it is impossible to know if those who show up to vote are parents or not.  However, in East Ramapo, you would expect a low turnout because do many of our parents are not citizens.  In most school districts, the bulk of voters are parents, and this is reflected in the low turnout at school elections, typically in the single digits in our area.  So, how do East Ramapo voters compare to other districts? First, we have to remember that the local non-public school parents (mostly Haredi Jews) are also voting. Our question is how the rest of the district votes, but that is fairly easy to estimate as the Haredi live in segregated neighborhoods.  It turns out that the rest of East Ramapo is actually voting at a MUCH HIGHER RATE than surrounding districts.  East Ramapo may actually have the highest voter turnout of any district in the USA!  This is likely caused by the popular outrage over the obvious conflict of interest created when a public school board is dominated by a non-public community. The most obvious example being the sale of the Hillcrest school.  The following chart illustrates voter turnout in East Ramapo as compared to other districts in Rockland County: