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Novato USD |  BB  9220  Board Bylaws

Governing Board Elections   

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Board Member Qualifications

Any person is eligible to be a member of the Board of Education, without further qualifications, if he/she is 18 years of age or older, a citizen of California, a resident of the school district, a registered voter, and not legally disqualified from holding civil office. Any person who has been convicted of a felony involving the giving, accepting, or offering of a bribe, embezzlement or theft of public funds, extortion, perjury, or conspiracy to commit any such crime, under California law or the law of another state, the United States of America, or another country, is not eligible to be a candidate for office or elected as a Board member except when he/she has been granted a pardon in accordance with law. (Education Code 35107; Elections Code 20)

A district employee elected to the Board shall resign his/her employment before being sworn in or shall have his/her employment automatically terminated upon being sworn into office. (Education Code 35107)

(cf. 9224 - Oath of Affirmation)

(cf. 9270 - Conflict of Interest)

The Board encourages all candidates to become knowledgeable about the role of board members. The Superintendent or designee shall provide all candidates with information that will enable them to understand the responsibilities and expectations of being a Board member, including information regarding available workshops, seminars, and/or training. The Superintendent or designee shall provide all candidates with the county election official's contact information and general information about school programs, district operations, and Board responsibilities.

(cf. 9230 - Orientation)

(cf. 9240 - Board Training)

Consolidation of Elections

To reduce costs associated with conducting elections, the Board may consolidate Board elections with the local municipal or statewide primary or general election in accordance with Elections Code 1302.

In addition, if a regularly scheduled Board election held other than on a statewide election date results in a decrease in local voter turnout of 25 percent or more compared to the average local turnout for the previous four statewide general elections, the Board shall take action to consolidate Board elections with statewide elections. The district shall move its election to the next state statewide election date, unless the Board has adopted a plan by January 1, 2018 to consolidate Board elections not later than the November 8, 2022 statewide general election. (Elections Code 14051, 14052)

In order to consolidate elections based on either circumstance described above, the Board shall adopt a resolution and submit it to the County Board of Supervisors for approval not later than 240 days prior to the date of the currently scheduled district election. (Elections Code 10404.5)

Whenever a regularly scheduled Board election is changed due to consolidation of elections, the terms of office of incumbent Board members shall be extended to align with the next applicable election. (Elections Code 10404.5)

(cf. 9110 - Terms of Office)

Elections Process and Procedures

Board members may reside anywhere within the district's boundaries and shall be elected by all voters in the district.

To ensure ongoing compliance with the California Voting Rights Acts, the Board may review the district's Board election method to determine whether any modification is necessary due to changes in the district's population or any of its racial, color, or language minority group composition. The review shall be based on the Superintendent or designee's report to the Board after the release of each decennial federal census.

If the Board determines that a change is necessary, it shall hold public hearings in accordance with Elections Code 10100 before adopting a resolution at an open meeting specifying the change(s), and shall, in accordance with Education Code 5019, obtain approval from the county committee on school district organization having jurisdiction over the district.

(cf. 9320 - Meetings and Notices)

Campaign Conduct

All candidates, including current Board members running as incumbents, shall abide by local, county, state, and federal requirements regarding campaign donations, funding, and expenditures.

A Board member shall not expend, and a candidate shall not accept, any public money for the purpose of seeking elective office. However, the district may establish a dedicated fund for those seeking election to the Board, provided that the funds are available to all candidates who are qualified pursuant to Education Code 35107 without regard to incumbency or political preference. (Government Code 85300)

In order to help protect the public's trust in the electoral process as well as the public's confidence in the Board and district, the Board encourages all candidates to sign and adhere to the principles in the Code of Fair Campaign Practices pursuant to Elections Code 20440.

(cf. 0410 - Nondiscrimination in District Programs and Activities)

(cf. 9005 - Governance Standards)

Statement of Qualifications

On the 125th day prior to the day fixed for the general district election, the Board secretary or his/her designee shall deliver a notice, bearing the secretary's signature and district seal, to the county elections official describing both of the following: (Elections Code 10509)

1. The elective offices of the district to be filled at the general election and which offices, if any, are for the balance of an unexpired term

2. Whether the district or the candidate is to pay for the publication of a statement of qualifications pursuant to Elections Code 13307

(cf. 9223 - Filling Vacancies)

Candidates for the Board may submit a candidate statement to the elections official for inclusion in the voter's pamphlet. Candidate statements shall be limited to no more than 200 words. (Elections Code 13307)

When the elections official allows for the electronic distribution of candidate statements, a candidate for the Board may, in addition to or instead of submitting a candidate statement for inclusion in the mailed voter's pamphlet, prepare and submit a candidate statement for electronic distribution.

The district shall assume no part of the cost of printing, handling, translating, mailing, or electronically distributing candidate statements filed pursuant to Elections Code 13307. As a condition of having candidate statements included in the hard copy and/or electronic voter's pamphlet, the district may require candidates to pay their estimated pro rata share of these costs to the district in advance pursuant to Elections Code 13307.

Tie Votes in Board Member Elections

Whenever a tie makes it impossible to determine which of two or more candidates has been elected to the Board, the Board shall schedule a runoff election in accordance with law. (Education Code 5016)

Legal Reference:

EDUCATION CODE

1006 Qualifications for holding office, county board of education

5000-5033 Elections

5220-5231 Elections

5300-5304 General provisions (conduct of elections)

5320-5329 Order and call of elections

5340-5345 Consolidation of elections

5360-5363 Election notice

5380 Compensation (of election officer)

5390 Qualifications of voters

5420-5426 Cost of elections

5440-5442 Miscellaneous provisions

7054 Use of district property

35107 Eligibility; school district employees

35177 Campaign expenditures or contributions

35239 Compensation of governing board member of districts with less than 70 ADA

ELECTIONS CODE

20 Public office eligibility

1302 Local elections, school district election

2201 Grounds for cancellation

4000-4008 Elections conducted wholly by mail

10010 District boundaries

10400-10418 Consolidation of elections

10509 Notice of election by secretary

10600-10604 School district elections

13307 Candidate's statement

13308 Candidate's statement contents

13309 Candidate's statement, indigence

14025-14032 California Voting Rights Act

14050-14057 California Voter Participation Rights Act

20440 Code of Fair Campaign Practices

GOVERNMENT CODE

1021 Conviction of crime

1097 Illegal participation in public contract

12940 Nondiscrimination, Fair Employment and Housing Act

81000-91014 Political Reform Act

PENAL CODE

68 Bribes

74 Acceptance of gratuity

424 Embezzlement and falsification of accounts by public officers

661 Removal for neglect or violation of official duty

CALIFORNIA CONSTITUTION

Article 2, Section 2 Voters, qualifications

Article 7, Section 7 Conflicting offices

Article 7, Section 8 Disqualification from office

UNITED STATES CODE, TITLE 52

10301-10508 Voting Rights Act

COURT DECISIONS

Rey v. Madera Unified School District, (2012) 138 Cal. Rptr. 3d 192

Randall v. Sorrell, (2006) 126 S.Ct. 2479

Sanchez v. City of Modesto, (2006) 51 Cal.Rptr.3d 821

Dusch v. Davis, (1967) 387 U.S. 112

ATTORNEY GENERAL OPINIONS

85 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 49 (2002)

83 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 181 (2000)

81 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 98 (1998)

69 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 290 (1986)

Management Resources:

CALIFORNIA SCHOOL BOARDS ASSOCIATION PUBLICATIONS

Legal Alert on the Impact of Senate Bill No. 415 on School Board Elections, January 2017

WEB SITES

CSBA: http://www.csba.org

California Secretary of State's Office: http://www.sos.ca.gov

Fair Political Practices Commission: http://www.fppc.ca.gov

Institute for Local Self Government: http://www.ca-ilg.org

Bylaw NOVATO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

adopted: August 26, 2008 Novato, California

revised: May 6, 2014

revised: September 5, 2017