Candidate Filing, Elections & the Reorganizational Meeting
Susan Goldammer Missouri School Boards’ Association [email protected]
(800) 221-6722, ext. 355
Dates to Remember December 13, 2011 – Candidate filing begins for most districts December 20, 2011 – Candidate filing begins for any district located in Kansas City January 17, 2012 – Candidate filing closes for all districts January 24, 2012 – Last day to certify candidates or ballot issue to county clerk or election authority
Dates to Remember January 31, 2012 - Day personal financial disclosure forms (PFDF) are due to the Missouri Ethics Commission (if applicable) February 7, 2012 – Candidate removed from ballot if PFDF is not received by MEC (if applicable) April 3, 2012 – Election Day April 13, 2012 – Deadline for reorganization of “urban” districts April 17, 2012 – Deadline for reorganization meeting for most districts
Preparing for Candidate Filing
What Positions Are Open? This year should be 2, 3-year positions If you had a resignation/death this last year, the unexpired term (1 or 2 years) is also open for election. How many years are left on the unexpired term?
Prior to the beginning of candidate filing, the district must publish notice (See BBB-AF1) Newspaper of general circulation Include opening and closing filing date and hours/days the district will be open for filing Do not forget to mention holidays!!! Include the number positions to be filled, the length of terms and the proper place for filing
Investigate Your Policies MSBA Policy BBB, School Board Elections – 2 Versions depending on how candidates may file on the first day MSBA Policy BBFA, Board Member Conflict of Interest and Financial Disclosure
◦ Has the Board adopted it every other year? ◦ Was a certified copy sent to the MEC by September 15th of the year adopted or readopted?
Personal Financial Disclosure Statements (PFDS)
If district operating budget is less than $1 million, not applicable If district has adopted a conflict of interest policy (MSBA Policy BBFA) biannually, certified and mailed it to the MEC by September 15, candidate is only required to fill out the “short form” – and then only if there is something to report. Must provide to MEC and district! Otherwise, candidate must fill out the long form by deadline.
Prepare Your Papers Declaration of Candidacy - BBB-AF2 Notice of candidate to file personal financial disclosure statement – BBB-AF4 Summary of laws from the Missouri Ethics Commission to candidates (MEC provides) Acknowledgement of receipt of personal financial disclosure statement and MEC summary – BBB-AF3
Other Papers Recommended
Copy of appropriate personal financial disclosure form Notice of upcoming school board meetings Notice of date of reorganization meeting Notice of candidate forums, if applicable Notice of MSBA Board Candidate programming Notice that all school board members must take 16 hours of training in their first year.
Prepare Your Building
Notify custodians on day of filing to only open one door to incoming public for the first few hours Post signs on all other doors directing candidates to the proper door Put out numbered chairs to indicate where candidates should sit to form the line If you place on ballot by random drawing on the first day, get bowl with numbers from 1 – 30.
Must begin exactly at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, December 13 (or 20th) Must end exactly at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, January 17 Other dates and times as set by the district. Published notice very important! BBB-AF1 Inclement weather – can close on most days, but serious problem on the first or last day!
Process Must be in person (we think) - perhaps exceptions under ADA or for those in the active duty military No proxy filing, but may allow proxy place holding. Up to district. Note date and time of filing on candidate declaration form Note number pulled from the bowl, if applicable
Can only run for one position and must select No notary requirement, but not a bad idea if you can Use legal name, but can put nicknames in parentheses after real name. Ex. Elizabeth (Liz) Jones No prefixes (Rev., Dr., etc.) Train more than one person on the process so that you can leave the office if you need to!
Requirements (Most Districts) Citizen of the United States Resident taxpayer of district Resided in Missouri for 1 year preceding election (if elected) At least 24 years of age
Requirements (Urban Districts) Voter of the district Resided in Missouri for 1 year preceding election (if elected) At least 24 years of age
Requirements (All Districts) Not serving a sentence or period of probation for a felony or a crime that if committed in Missouri would have been a felony. Never have pled guilty, no contest or been convicted of a felony associated with elections. Not a registered sex offender! (New requirement) Filed required campaign disclosure reports for all previous elections in which he or she was a candidate and have paid all fees assessed by the Missouri Ethics Commission, if applicable.
No Election Needed §115.124, RSMo. If you have 1) properly published and 2) the number of candidates who have filed is equal to the number of positions open, no election will be held However, if the number of candidates exceeds the number of positions at time filing is closed, must have an election even though some candidates withdraw.
What if We Do Not Have Enough Candidates? Get some! Board’s responsibility Still have an election, even if fewer candidates than positions All write-in ballots will be counted A person could get elected with one vote! If no one is elected for empty position, vacancy exists and Board must fill
Certification Notify the county clerk or election authority by January 24, 2012. You may fax your notice by 5 p.m. on that date, as long as the original copy is received within 3 business days Make sure your candidate’s names are spelled correctly and that they are in the correct order! No need for Board to meet unless they are voting to put something else on the ballot.
Candidate Wants to Withdraw MSBA recommends that they do so in writing, notarized Before certification to clerk or election authority, simply remove from the list After certificate, but before certification deadline (January 24), provide new certification with name removed After that, candidate will need to go to court to have name removed
Write-In Candidates After certification, the only way to change the ballot is by court order, and then only if the district/individual is willing to pay the costs for reprinting. Candidates must register with the clerk or other election authority by March 23, 2012, to be counted UNLESS there are not enough candidates for the positions available.
Common Questions Can school employees run for school board? Can a candidate sign up for more than one position? (Ex. a 3 year and a 1 year) What if members of the public complain that one of the candidates is not a resident? Can a school board member hold more than one elected office?
§115.646, RSMo. No expenditure of public funds can be made to advocate, support or oppose any ballot measure or candidate for public office. Use of district computers, copy machines, postage, paper, etc. Missouri Ethics Commission enforces and can fine
Can Inform Regarding All Candidates Notify patrons of election Provide names and information on all candidates that have filed Use newsletter, website, social media to remind people to vote Advertise opportunities to meet candidates or candidate forums
Common Issues Candidates wanting to advertise on district property. Employees wearing buttons at school. PTA wants to send newsletter home endorsing candidates.
Get the Day and the People Together April 17 (or April 13) is the statutory deadline to meet and swear in board members Most districts also reorganize by electing officers Important that everyone attend, but not always possible Set date ahead of time and get it on Board member and candidate calendars
Agenda Mostly the same if candidates were elected or if there was no election Must certify or accept the results of the election OR note that no election was held pursuant to law and announce the names Must swear in new board members Must elect officers
Giving the Oath Must take oath and sign Set by constitution MSBA Form BCA-AF MSBA Policy BCA says the Board secretary will administer the oath
Electing Officers Minimally president and vice president Secretary and treasurer must be elected prior to July 15 MSBA Policy BCA says superintendent presides as temporary president for president and vice-president elections No secret ballots!
Recommended (Not Required) Practice Superintendent asks for nominations for President. All nominations are received and noted. Superintendent calls for a vote on the nominees in the order nominated. If someone receives a majority vote, they are elected. If no one receives a majority vote then the vote is taken again. This process continues until someone gets a majority vote.
What Happens if Board Cannot Decide? No one is going to decide for them! Can adjourn and try again another day, but need to decide soon. Encourage board members to discuss qualities that make an ideal officer Review requirements for position, MSBA Policies BCB and BCC
Common Questions What if the election results have not been certified? What happens if we cannot get the Board together before the deadline? Can the “old” board meet before the new board is sworn in? Do we have to vote to dissolve the old board?