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When was the last election?

It feels a bit odd to be asking “When was the last time there was an election?” about something local. As a kid, I sort of assumed that elections happened everywhere in our country, as scheduled, and it was only foreign countries that lacked elections.

Unfortunately, it’s a question worth asking. About the Trego School Board, certainly. Last year, we were writing about vacant school board positions, and the need to get an application in to the school clerk, for an election to be held in May. That’s what should happen (every year).

What actually happens (and not just on the Trego School Board- look at your Lincoln Electric Cooperative Ballot) is that there are as many (or less) candidates as open positions. With everyone running unopposed, there’s no need for an election, and candidates are elected “by acclamation”.

Regarding the school board- a reminder:

Any person qualified to vote in a district is eligible for the office of trustee. However, there are restrictions on who may hold office. A trustee may not be employed in any capacity by the trustee’s own school district (with the exception of officiating athletic competitions under the auspices of the Montana Officials Association). The trustee candidate may be related to a school or county employee

No person convicted of a felony is eligible to hold office until final discharge from state supervision.

-SCHOOL ELECTION HANDBOOK

While one of the risks is of running for a board (or public office) is that you might win- it really would be nice to have an election. After all, without one, we can’t even vote against someone, let alone for them!

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