MISD Announces Remedial Program for Island Voters

Fewer than half of Mercer Island's registered voters participated in this month's general election. Of those who voted for School Board Director Position 4, 37% chose the candidate who had withdrawn from the race and endorsed her opponent.

Responding to the results of last week’s election, in which more than 2,700 Islanders voted for a school board candidate who had dropped out of the race in September and endorsed her opponent, the Mercer Island School District announced that they would be developing a remedial education program targeted specifically at the Islander’s registered voters.

“We’ve been so focused on educating Mercer Island’s children that it never occurred to us we were neglecting our responsibilities to the Island’s adult population,” said an MISD official, “In retrospect, the warning signs were there all along.”

The official said that the cost of educating thousands of Island voters would require an additional property tax levy, noting, “We know we can count on local voters to approve this. They’re always willing to cough up more for education, as long as they know the money will only be spent on Mercer Island.”

Post-election surveys have revealed that some votes for the withdrawn candidate were the result of misinformation disseminated on social media. Said one Islander: “I read on Nextdoor that the Mercer Island Reporter endorsed Deborah Lurie. So I voted for her opponent on principle.” [Editor’s note: The Mercer Island Reporter did not endorse any candidates in this year’s school board races.]

Of greater concern, as Seattle University political science professor and Island resident Pareto Optimal observed, is that this problem goes beyond this one election to a structural issue with the local electorate.

“On Mercer Island, we pride ourselves on having many intelligent and informed citizens,” said Optimal, “Unfortunately, we also have a large number of Ivy League graduates.”