Student Member of the Board - Election Process
"SMOB Meet the Candidates" 2018
The SMOB Nominating Convention was held on February 21, 2018 at Watkins Mill High School. The two candidates selected were Ms. Nimah Nayel and Ms. Ananya Tadikonda.
SMOB Election Early Voting is Friday, April 20, 7:15 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Requests for early voting are due by Tuesday, April 17 at 5 p.m. Requests for early voting should be emailed to Shella Cherry at Shella_B_Cherry@mcpsmd.org. A student/group must be physically absent from school with an excused absence during the entire SMOB Election on Wednesday, April 25, 7 a.m.-3 p.m. to vote early (ex: Outdoor Education, doctor’s appointment, funeral, etc.). PARCC testing does NOT qualify for early voting.
Overview of Election Process
The following is the usual sequence of events for the election of the student member of the Board of Education:
May – September
The MCR president designates the election administrator who chairs the special elections committee.
October – December
Membership for the special election committee is solicited. All MCPS students in middle school through grade 12 are eligible to be members of the committee. Each high school should have at least one student serving on the committee.
An informational meeting is conducted for students interested in learning more about the position of SMOB. Advertising and application materials are sent to high schools.
Students who are residents of Montgomery County, are regularly enrolled in a Montgomery County public school, and are either sophomores or juniors are eligible to run for SMOB. Filing forms are available through local student government organizations, the Student Leadership Unit, or on the Web. Candidates may nominate themselves or be nominated by others. The student leadership coordinator signs as the administrator after verifying the student's grade and enrollment in MCPS. Only complete applications submitted by the deadline will be considered. There is a mandatory candidates' meeting held at the end of January or beginning of February.
February – March
There is a selection/election of nominating convention delegates by local schools. If more than two SMOB candidates file, a convention is convened. Otherwise, half day town meetings are held. Either way, delegate selection/elections may be necessary.
Nominating Convention: During the nominating convention, there are two sets of balloting. The primary ballot narrows the field to half of the candidates. The second, preferential ballot, selects the final two candidates. If there are four or fewer candidates, only one ballot is needed.
Training sessions for local school election officials are conducted as needed (optional attendance). Schools can train student election officials by reviewing the movies and documents listed above.
General Election takes place on the last Wednesday of the month and every secondary student in grades 6–12 in MCPS is eligible to vote following all proper election protocols. There is also an "early voting" day approximately 5–6 days before the election to allow for students who will not be in school on election day (ex: 6th grade outdoor education).
Local student government support, assistance, and cooperation is needed to assure the success of the election each year.
Attention to the following is required:
- Assuring that students are aware of the filing period, who is eligible to file for office, and who may nominate candidates.
- Scheduling and administering the timely election of nominating convention/town meeting delegates.
- Educating the voting population - airing the TV show, "Meet the Candidates," to all students and distributing the voters guide in multiple languages.
- Conducting the election following all protocols on election day.
MCR Special Elections Committee
Middle and high school students are needed to serve on the Special Elections Committee. This committee handles the logistical details for running the election of the Student Member of the Board of Education (SMOB), a public official. Evening meetings run October – May.
It is imperative that the SEC has representation from EVERY high school and middle school representation is HIGHLY encouraged. Schools could form their own committee for running the SMOB election and have these students rotate attendance at the county meetings. This would be a great way to get a head start on your school’s election participation and serve on the SEC. This important committee handles the election logistics of a public official and is one of the few real civic educational opportunities in which students participate. Please actively recruit students at your school to join the SEC! Student service learning hours are applicable.