While leftists like Stacey Abrams and Vanita Gupta make false claims about nonexistent “voter suppression” over state efforts to fix vulnerabilities in state election laws, the Public Interest Legal Foundation has filed a lawsuit over a real voter suppression in Maryland.
The lawsuit, filed on March 16 on behalf of several parents and their children in Howard County, Maryland, outlines voting procedures for the school board that, as the Public Interest Legal Foundation says, resemble the plot of the 1999 Reese Witherspoon movie “Election,” about a corrupt student government election.
The lawsuit claims that the Howard County Board of Education is violating Maryland election law as well as the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment and the free exercise clause of the First Amendment.
The Howard County Board of Education has eight members, all of whom must be residents of the county. Registered adult voters—regardless of whether they have children or whether their children attend public, private, or religious schools—elect seven of those members.
Two members are in at-large seats, and every registered voter in the county can vote for them. Five members are elected by registered voters who reside in the members’ specific districts corresponding to the county’s council districts.
But the eighth member of the school board is not an adult. Instead, that member is a junior or senior public school student elected by sixth through 11th grade students also attending the public schools in Howard County through an election process controlled by the school board and school administrators.
Keep in mind that the Howard County School Board—including this student member—runs 77 public schools with almost 60,000 students, and oversees nearly $1 billion in taxpayer funds through its annual operating and capital budget.
Yet, the taxpayers and the overwhelming majority of registered voters of Howard County have no say whatsoever in the election of the eighth voting member of this important board.
They also have no say in who is nominated to run as the student member, in contrast to the nomination of candidates for the other (adult) positions on the school board.
Instead, the nomination and election of the student member, as the lawsuit outlines, is under a “process approved by [the School] Board and overseen and controlled by the Superintendent and various administrators and other full-time public employees.”
In other words, bureaucrats who work for the school board control who can be nominated to be the student member and how they can run their campaigns, a clear and irreconcilable conflict of interest.
In fact, this gives unions—like the Howard County Education Association, which represents these same bureaucrats—effective con…