Seven board seats un­con­tested in Se­bas­tian County school elec­tion

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - VOICES - DAVE HUGHES

FORT SMITH — The Se­bas­tian County school elec­tion this year will have no con­tested school board races in the seven po­si­tions in five school dis­tricts up for elec­tion.

One district, Mans­field, couldn’t get a can­di­date to file for the Po­si­tion 2 seat that is com­ing va­cant.

Se­bas­tian County Elec­tion Com­mis­sion of­fi­cials were at a loss to ex­plain the lack of in­ter­est in the school elec­tions this year.

Be­cause there are no con­tested races and no mill­age rate in­creases are be­ing re­quested this year, elec­tion com­mis­sion­ers voted Thurs­day to con­duct only ab­sen­tee and early vot­ing. No polling places will be open on elec­tion day Sept. 19.

The only polling places for the school elec­tion will be at Green­wood City Hall and the Se­bas­tian County Court­house in Fort Smith. They will be open from Sept. 11 un­til 5 p.m. Sept. 18. Com­mis­sion­ers will count the ab­sen­tee votes be­gin­ning at 7 p.m. Sept. 19 and tab­u­late the early votes at 7:30 p.m.

This year’s school elec­tion was to be the first test of newly ap­proved vote cen­ters, which al­low vot­ers to cast bal­lots at any polling place in the county. With the county’s new vot­ing equip­ment, poll work­ers can match a voter with the ap­pro­pri­ate bal­lot for his precinct at any vote cen­ter.

Elec­tion of­fi­cials said Thurs­day the next elec­tion where the vote cen­ters will come into play will be the May pri­mary elec­tion next year.

Can­di­dates in this year’s Se­bas­tian County school elec­tion are:

■ Fort Smith: Greg Mag­ness, at-large Po­si­tion 2; and Jean­nie Cole, Zone 3, Po­si­tion 7.

■ Green­wood: Todd Hales, Po­si­tion 1; and Greg Hasley, Po­si­tion 4.

■ Hackett/Hart­ford: Pa­tri­cia A. Black, Po­si­tion 2.

■ Lavaca: Dar­ren Smith­son, Po­si­tion 5.

■ Mans­field: Po­si­tion 2, no can­di­date.

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