Santa Clara School Board Candidate Omitted From Ballot

Santa Clara Unified School District Board of Trustees candidate Dr. Michael Helms learned Saturday that his name was omitted from sample ballots mailed to district voters for the November 2014 election. It is not known what action the Registrar of Voters plans to take.

Santa Clara, CA, USA – September 30th, 2014 /PressCable/

Michael Helms' Website

Santa Clara Unified School District Board Of Trustees Candidate Dr. Michael Helms was shocked to learn that when the sample ballots were delivered in Santa Clara, his name was not on them. “When I first heard about it from a friend, I thought it meant my name was not showing up on one of the local websites. Then I received an image taken from an actual ballot, and what do you know, my name didn't show up at all. Apparently it was an error on the part of the Registrar of Voters.”

A first time candidate for position of school board trustee, Helms holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University, and is currently an adjunct professor of Engineering at San Jose State University. He seeks to unseat the incumbent, who has held the position for 10 years.

“Santa Clara has changed a lot in the past ten years, and I think it's time for some changes to be made in the School Board. Silicon Valley is home to some of the biggest tech giants in the world. We should have the best schools in the world. This district has suffered from numerous scandals and financial mismanagement. Although test scores have been slowly improving in recent years, the district is not serving the students as well as it could. Since I announced my candidacy, I regularly talk to parents who are frustrated that their children are not getting what they need in terms of educational opportunities. Many feel the only way they can provide their children with a top education is to send their children to private schools. Others wish they could, but simply cannot afford it. Those families are all part of our community, but they don't feel as if they are. I want to change that. I want every family and every child to feel included. I know how they feel,” he laughed. “After this ballot debacle, I feel the same way.”

This was not the first instance of having his name excluded. Shortly after filing his paperwork for his candidacy, The Santa Clara Weekly printed that he had filed so late that he failed to include a ballot statement, a statement that was untrue. The publication has since printed a correction.

When asked what he thinks it means for his candidacy, Dr. Helms says, “I don't exactly know. I think I would take it a lot more seriously if I were prone to conspiracy theory. These types of things just seem to keep happening. I guess it just gives me that much more empathy for the families who are just trying to get the best education they can for their kids, and keep running up against roadblocks. I want them to know they can count on me to do my best to knock those roadblocks down.”

“I am confident this is just a mix-up with the Registrar of Voters, and it will be ironed out soon. I have found the staff there to be very professional and efficient. Sometimes things just happen. When they do, you just fix it, get over it, and move on.”

Contact Info:
Name: Teri Helms
Organization: Michael Helms For Santa Clara Unified School District Board Of Trustees 2014
Phone: (408) 244-7344
Address: P O Box 329, Santa Clara, CA 95052

Release ID: 64632