There won't be names on the November ballot in two Beaufort County Board of Education elections.
No one filed to run in District 10, which includes parts of Hilton Head Island. And in District 7, which includes parts of Bluffton, one candidate failed to collect enough valid signatures for her petition.
Election officials are confident, however, that someone will campaign for each of the seats -- in fact, some have already asked how they can run as write-in candidates, according to Scott Marshall, executive director of the Beaufort County Board of Voter Registration and Elections.
School board member Julie Bell, elected as a write-in candidate in 2010 after failing to collect enough signatures to get on the ballot, said that route isn't easy.
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"(The ballot) will say 'Board of Education' and there's nothing there," she said. "Most people probably skip right over it."
Bell said when she campaigned, she made sure to tell voters how to write in her name, instructions she said are particularly important for those casting ballots on electronic machines, which require voters to select "write-in," then type in the name.
Evva Anderson, a real estate agent in District 7, is in the same position Bell was. She filed to run but was 21 shy of the 228 certified signatures needed, Marshall said. Candidates for school board must collect signatures of 2.5 percent of the registered voters in their district to make the ballot.
Anderson, who has served as School Improvement Council chairwoman at Pritchardville Elementary School and was recently was elected chairwoman of Bluffton Middle Council, said she will continue her campaign as a write-in candidate.
She's a bit worried her unusual first name -- two "v"s and not a "w" as it might appear to someone at first glance -- will pose problems.Candidates' names must be spelled correctly to count. She hopes her volunteer work at schools and in the community will give her name recognition and the votes to win.
Anderson said she hasn't heard of anyone else planning a write-in candidacy in her district.
District 10 has at least one write-in candidate: former teacher Mike Sanz.
Sanz announced his intention to run as a write-in candidate shortly after the election filing deadline passed July 16.
He said he didn't file a petition because in the weeks leading to the filing deadline, he still was trying to decide whether to return to his job as a science teacher at H.E. McCracken Middle School. School board members cannot be district employees.
Sanz quit the job in June.
Marshall said to win, a write-in candidate for school board just needs to get more votes than any other candidate, even if that number is small. School board members are elected by a plurality vote.
Marshall said it's possible, but not probable, that no one would be elected to the seats. If that's the case, the seat would be filled through a special election after the term expires in January, Marshall said.
- Incumbents, retired educator to face off in Beaufort County school board race; July 16, 2012
- Write-in campaign for empty Hilton Head school board seat still undecided; Nov. 2, 2010
- For write-in candidates, election comes down to name recognition; Oct. 11, 2010
- School board spot to go to write-in candidate; Sept. 6, 2010