Salisbury Holds Municipal Elections

Fewer than half of registered voters turned out to cast a ballot at the Salisbury local municipal elections on Tuesday, November 5. The smaller turnout compared with past Salisbury elections may be due to the fact that most candidates were running uncontested.
Municipal elections were held to elect members for a variety of positions, including openings on the Board of Education and the Planning and Zoning Commission.
One of the only positions with multiple candidates was on the Planning and Zoning Committee. Three candidates ran for a position with two openings. Ultimately, Michael W. Clemens and Robert Riva won. Before the election, Mr. Clemens, a Democrat, was asked about his opinion on the most prevalent issue the commision is facing. He said, “The biggest thing about planning and zoning is not about stopping change; it’s about evolving.”
The school has many different ways for students to become involved in politics. Clubs include the Hotchkiss Republicans, the Hotchkiss Democrats, and the Hotchkiss Political Union. The school has buses to local elections as an accessible way for eligible students to participate.
Diana Reiss ’20, co-head of the Hotchkiss Democrats, considers voting a crucial way to have a voice. Reiss said, “I think voting is a really great outlet to make changes, and a crucial component to express the world we want to see in the future.”
Mr. Keith Moon, instructor in English and History and a member of the Salisbury School Board, thinks the elections are an important way for students to voice their opinions. This year, he plans to organize voter registration on campus so that it is more accessible for eligible students to register to vote. Mr. Moon said, “It is critical that people vote and make sure their voice[s are] heard. Otherwise, we are governed by forces that we can’t control, such as media and crowd-thinking. [Voting] is an opportunity for each one of us to pick what we want in our future.”
However, students remained relatively uninvolved with local elections. Elizabeth Oliver ’22, a member of the Hotchkiss Republicans, noted that many students were not informed about the recent elections. She noted, “Since the local elections are on such a small scale,…the outcome doesn’t really affect students, whereas the bigger elections, such as [for] the presidency, have a greater impact on student life.”
The school will have transportation for students to Salisbury Town Hall for future elections, such as the presidential primaries in 2020. Students should also look out for voter registration events on campus held closer to the primaries.