15 Sep 2014
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If No Write-In Candidates, County to Pick BOE Reps

Laws based on November elections could take control away from school boards if write-in votes are not cast.

If No Write-In Candidates, County to Pick BOE Reps

If residents in Washington Township don’t write in a school board candidate on Nov. 6, local decision making will be lost and representatives will be appointed by the county, according to the New Jersey School Boards Association.

Two members of the Washington Township Board of Education–Kristin Gallagher and Mike Rec–.

In the past, this wouldn’t pose much of a problem, as school board elections were held in April and respective bodies had 65 days post-election to interview and appoint representatives to the open seats.

But once the Washington Township and the school board .

According to Frank Belluscio at New Jersey School Boards Association, if no write-in candidate is established on Nov. 6, the decision will be made and appointed by Morris County Executive Superintendent Dr. Kathleen Serafino.

“But even if there’s just one write-in candidate, and that person meets eligibility criteria and is considered qualified, he or she will be elected to the board,” Belluscio said. “The law states there is no minimum (write in vote) needed.”

If there is a tie of write-in votes, a special election will then be held, Belluscio said.

Perry Kwok is the only incumbent who filed for re-election on the

The situation will be the same for the West Morris Regional High School district, but the decision will come down to Chester Borough’s 1,058 registered voters–not the district’s voters as a whole.

In 2011, . The municipality was represented by five members prior to the change.

In exchange, Chester Borough, for the first time in the board’s history, was given a representative seat complete the nine-member body.

But no one from the town filed to run by the June 5 deadline.

On the Nov. 6 election ballot, there will be a write-in option for that seat available to Chester Borough’s voters.

Again, just one write-in vote is needed to obtain the open seat.

In the event of a write-in tie between multiple candidates, a special election will need to be held before a reorganization meeting in January, Belluscio said.

If no write-in votes are made for a qualified individual, a representative will be appointed by the county superintendent.

Washington Township’s Tom Richar, Joseph Galayda, and John Meyer, all up for re-election, filed to run in November. No other representatives on the board are up for re-election.

A PDF of frequently asked questions to the New Jersey School Board Association is attached to this article.

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