By Michelle Price
Special to the UCBJ
PUTNAM COUNTY – The Putnam County Republican Party met last night and voted to request partisan elections for the school board.
Previously, school board elections were not and could not be partisan; however, with passage of HB9072/SB9009 on Oct. 29, 2021, upon Gov. Bill Lee signing the Bill, partisan election of school board members is now permitted.
The Bill specifies the process to be used for primary elections to select candidates for school board will be as follows:
(1) Primary elections in which candidates nominated for school boards are to appear on the regular August election ballot will be held on the first Tuesday in May before the August election. In presidential election years, a political party primary for offices to be elected in the regular August election will be held on the same day as the presidential preference primary;
(2) Primary elections in which candidates nominated for school board are to appear on the regular November election ballot will be held concurrently with the regular August election; and
(3) Primary elections in which candidates nominated for school board are to appear on a ballot other than the regular August or regular November election ballot will be held on the first Tuesday in the third month before the election. If the first Tuesday of the third month falls on a legal holiday, the election will be held on the second Tuesday of the third month before the election.
This amendment further specifies that, if the date for a primary election falls within 90 days of an upcoming regular primary or general election being held in the jurisdiction, the commission or commissions may reset the date of the primary election to coincide with the regular primary or general election.
The Bill is currently on Lee’s desk, and he is expected to sign it be Friday evening.