Each year, elections are held so voters can pick who they want to lead their communities, their state, and their nation.  Choices are made for seats like president, governor, and mayor in the November general election.  In August, the primary election determines who will be on the ballot in the general.  April is when the election for seats on most local boards, like school boards, health boards, fire boards, etc., occurs.

I have had numerous constituents tell me they do not know who is on these local boards, or that they were elected positions.  That is probably because of the frequency of “non-election” elections.

A non-election is when the exact right number of people file for open position(s), then it becomes almost automatic who is going to win, so there is no need to put the election on the ballot.  For example, if there are three seats open on a health board and only three people file, then unless there would have been a strong push for a write-in candidate (which almost never happens), the three filers were bound to win so they are given the seats and no election is held.  If less than three or more than three file, the election is held.  In a non-election, the district involved does not have to pay a share of the county election costs.

Non-elections are authorized under statute by state law.  The entities that may have a non-elections include health departments, schools, fire districts, ambulance districts, road districts, water districts, and city councils.  As mentioned, the upside for the district is saving money on election costs.  The downside is that no write-ins can run, the public is not as aware, and elections costs are shifted to other districts that do hold an election.

Filing for many local boards is open now through January 19.  Visit your County Clerk at your county courthouse if you are interested in running for a local office and serving your community.

Until next time, health, happiness and prosperity to you and your family, and have a very merry Christmas.