Nov. 14 is -- but isn't -- school board election day in the North Little Rock and Pulaski County Special school districts.
There will be no early or absentee voting in the two central Arkansas districts and there will be no polling places open on Nov. 14, election day -- but two people will be reelected to the seats they now hold.
There is one seat open on each of the two School Boards that could have been contested this year. The incumbent board members -- Angela Person-West in North Little Rock's Zone 4 seat and Wendy Potter in the Pulaski Special district's Zone 5 seat -- filed as candidates for reelection in August. They drew no opponents.
Additionally, neither district is asking voters for a change in their school tax rates.
As a result, the two districts are conducting what is called "an election by candidate," as permitted by Arkansas Code Annotated 6-14-102(c), Amanda Dickens, Pulaski County election coordinator, said last week.
Each of the incumbents are to visit the Pulaski County Administration Building to cast votes for themselves and to vote on their districts' millage rates, Dickens said.
That will constitute the year's elections -- including the fulfilling of the Arkansas Constitution provision that requires an annual vote on a district's tax rate -- even when there is no proposed change in the rate.
There will be no early or absentee voting in the two central Arkansas districts and there will be no polling places open on Nov. 14, election day, Dickens said.
Arkansas school districts are required under Article 14, Section 3, of the Arkansas Constitution to include their tax rates on the ballots in school elections, regardless of whether they seek a change.
If there is no proposed change in a tax rate, then a district seeks a vote on its current rate. In that case, no matter what voters decide, the millage rate will remain at the level last approved.
Early voting in the Little Rock School District will be Tuesday through Thursday at the Pulaski County Regional Building, 501 Markham St., or the John Gould Fletcher Library, 823 N. Buchanan St. On Monday, Nov. 13, it will be at the Pulaski County Regional Building only. Those sites are in Little Rock. Neither early voting site will be open on Nov. 10 in observance of Veterans Day, nor on the weekend days of Nov. 11 and 12.
Several polling places will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. in Little Rock's Zone 5 on the Nov. 14 election day. Anna Strong and Donnally Davis are on the ballot for the Zone 5 seat, although Davis withdrew from the race, Dickens said. The district's 46.4 mill property tax rate is also on that ballot.
Little Rock district residents who live outside of Zone 5 can vote on election day on Vicki Hatter for the Zone 6 board seat and on the district's current 46.4 mill-tax rate at the Pulaski County Regional Building.
The Jacksonville/North Pulaski School District holds its annual school board and millage election in the spring.
State law enables school districts to choose to hold their elections in either the spring in conjunction with state primary elections or the time when a primary would be held if there was one, or in November at the time general elections are or would be held.
People who live in school districts that hold spring elections and who want to run for election to their school boards are to file this week, Monday through Nov. 14 with their county clerks as candidates for election in March 2024.
In the Jacksonville/North Pulaski School District, there are no seats open for election in 2024.