Assemblyman RONALD S. DANCER
District 12 (Burlington, Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean)
Changes filing deadline for nominating petitions by school board candidates at general election from last Monday in July to 64th day preceding general election.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act changing the filing deadline for nominating petitions by school board candidates at the general election and amending P.L.1995, c.278.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. Section 7 of P.L.1995, c.278 (C.19:60-7) is amended to read as follows:
7. Each candidate to be voted upon at a school election shall be nominated directly by petition, and the procedures for such nomination shall, to the extent not inconsistent with the provisions of P.L.1995, c.278 (C.19:60-1 et al.), conform to the procedure for nominating candidates by direct petition under chapter 13 of Title 19 of the Revised Statutes. Notwithstanding the provisions of R.S.19:13-5, however, a petition of nomination for such office shall be signed by at least 10 persons, one of whom may be the candidate, and filed with the secretary of the board of education on or before four p.m. of the 50th day preceding the date of the April school election, or with the county clerk on or before four p.m. of the [last Monday in July] 64th day next preceding the November school election, as applicable. The signatures need not all appear upon a single petition and any number of petitions may be filed on behalf of any candidate or on behalf of two or more candidates filing a joint petition. A petition for one or more candidates may include a designation in not more than three words that conveys the principles which the candidate or candidates therein named represent, but such designation shall not contain the name, or a derivative thereof, as a noun or an adjective of any political party entitled to participate in a primary election. The petitions of a candidate for member of a board of education shall also include a functioning e-mail address for the candidate.
Any candidate may withdraw as a candidate in a school election by filing a notice in writing, signed by the candidate, of such withdrawal with the secretary of the board of education before the 44th day before the date of the April election or with the county clerk on the 70th day before the date of the November election, as applicable, and thereupon the name of that candidate shall be withdrawn by the secretary of the board of education and shall not be printed on the ballot.
A vacancy created by a declination of nomination or withdrawal by, or death of, a nominee, or in any other manner, shall be filled under the provisions of R.S.19:13-19.
Whenever written objection to
a petition of nomination hereunder shall have been made and timely filed with
of the board of education or with the county clerk, as may be appropriate, the board of education shall file its determination of the objection on or before the 44th day preceding the April school election or the county clerk shall file the clerk's determination of the objection on or before the 10th day after the last day for the filing of petitions for candidates seeking election as a member of a board of education at the November school election, as applicable. The last day upon which a candidate may file with the Superior Court a verified complaint setting forth any invasion or threatened invasion of the candidate's rights under the candidate's petition of nomination shall be the 46th day before the April election or the 12th day after the last day for the filing of petitions for candidates seeking election as a member of a board of education at the November election, as applicable. The last day upon which a candidate whose petition of nomination or any affidavit thereto is defective may amend such petition or affidavit shall be the 44th day before the April election or the 10th day after the last day for the filing of petitions for candidates seeking election as a member of a board of education at the November election, as applicable.
In each school district in which candidates for the office of member of a board of education will seek election at the November school election, the school business administrator thereof shall certify to the county clerk no later than the day of the holding of the primary election for the general election next occurring a statement designating the public offices to be filled at such election, and the number of such offices to be filled.
(cf: P.L.2018, c.66, s.3)
2. This act shall take effect on January 1 next following the date of enactment.
This bill moves the deadline for filing nominating petitions by school board candidates at the November general election from the last Monday in July to the 64th day preceding the general election. This change is necessary because of a decrease in the number of school board candidates since the law was amended in 2012 to allow school elections to be held at the general election. This reduction in the number of candidates has apparently resulted from the filing deadline occurring in July during a popular vacation period and at a time when members of the public may not be attuned to education issues. In order to attract more candidates it is necessary to move the filing deadline to a date that is closer to the general election but still allows sufficient time for elections officials to prepare the ballot and take other necessary steps to prepare for the election.