There is a lot of misinformation and a lot of people are mis-speaking about the next school board election. It’s complicated – even though it shouldn’t be. Mark Elgart even misspoke when he said to be very careful who you next elect to school board in November. But this is the thing — the school board election in DeKalb is non-partisan and will therefore be held in MAY!
We were not clear on the dates, the district boundaries or even the number of districts for the upcoming DeKalb School Board elections, so we went to Maxine Daniels, Director, DeKalb County Registration & Elections. Maxine helped with the following history and clarifications, and confirmed our suspicions that some work has to be done (quickly) to get these districts defined and maps approved in order to properly qualify candidates.
A brief history and clarification >>
++ In 2011, SB79 was passed that required DeKalb school board to reduce the number of seats to no more than 7. The bill made no provisions to accomplish this in light of the fact that the members terms went beyond 2012. It would have been illegal to put any of the incumbents out of office.
++ In 2012, HB 1290, which delayed implementation of SB79 until the end of 2014, was passed. We recall that this bill also reapportioned Districts 1 – 7 (remember all the maps that were drawn and debated?) It also set the end of the terms of the seats up for election in 2012 to 2014. Thus all seats become vacant on 12-31-2014. (Districts 8 and 9 were already properly apportioned so they were not addressed.) New district maps were submitted and approved for preclearance by DOJ. In fact, if they had not redistricted the seats, the school board would have been in violation of federal mandate for one person – one vote because the seats prior to 2012 were not evenly distributed.
++ Just last week, HB310 was passed to align state and local elections with the court-mandated calendar for federal elections. As a result, the qualifying for all partisan and nonpartisan candidates, including the school board, will be held March 3 -7. The election for nonpartisan candidates will be held May 20 with runoffs, as necessary, on July 22. Click here to read the entire bill >> HB 310
These loose ends regarding the maps and districts need to be tied up as soon as possible. As it stands today, there is no legal means to qualify candidates for the school board seats because no provisions exist that define the districts.
The 7 districts need to be confirmed and the super districts 8 and 9 formally eliminated. If that is done, no rearrangements of voters is required since districts 1 – 7 have already been reapportioned. Any other redesign, if not done very soon, could jeopardize qualifying.
So — think you want to run?
The deadline for filing is actually the last day of qualifying which is March 7. The Declaration of Intent (DOI) is required before you accept or expend any monies for your campaign. If you do not spend or accept anything prior to qualifying, you would not have to file the DOI until that time. The DOI, which is filed with the Ethics Commission, can be accessed at http://ethics.ga.gov/filer-information/forms/.
View a map of the current district lines here >> http://dekalbboe.nancyjester.com/media/914/dekalb%20delegation%20final%20map.pdf