I am writing to remind Portland voters to vote in the school budget election May 10.

I have worked at the polls for a few years, and typically the May election has an extremely low turnout.

Last year, only 970 people voted (1.8 percent of registered voters). In 2014, 1,492 (2.9 percent) voted. In 2013, 2,265 people voted (4.4 percent). This year, voters can vote to discontinue this election, which would save the city of Portland approximately $15,000.

Every election, 11 polling places have to be staffed with a minimum of four paid employees apiece: a warden, a registrar and two poll workers. In my opinion, the reason that we have a school board finance committee is to hire experts to go through the budget piece by piece, and make an educated decision about spending taxpayer dollars.

The completed budget is hundreds of pages long, and few voters read any of it before voting. It’s a waste of time and money for the school board to go through this long process and then ask the public to vote “yes” or “no” without having the detailed knowledge that the committee members have. It is similar to hiring an accountant to do one’s taxes and then asking a neighbor to approve the tax forms.

Historically, the budget has always passed by a wide margin. So it is an expensive formality that attracts few participants.

Let’s let the school board finance committee do their job without being micromanaged by a tiny percentage of Portland residents.

Terry Zippington

Portland