Under both the California Education Code and the California Elections Code, the elections of school district board members are to occur in odd-numbered years. In 1984, the Elections Code was amended to allow a governing board to adopt a resolution which permits elections to occur on the same day as the even-year November statewide general election.
The Menifee Unified School District requested that the Riverside County Board of Supervisors approve such a resolution, and on Sept. 27 the county supervisors voted 5-0 to allow the change.
Electing board members in even-numbered years often produces a higher turnout, and the increased number of jurisdictions holding elections in an even-numbered year also reduces the school district’s share of the election cost. The MUSD board voted 5-0 June 28 to request approval by the Board of Supervisors for a change to elections in even-numbered years.
The terms of the MUSD board members which would have expired in December 2017 are now extended to December 2018, and those seats will be contested in the November 2018 election rather than the November 2017 election. The board members whose seats would have expired in December 2019 will now serve until December 2020 if they complete their term, and the elections for those seats will be in November 2020 rather than in November 2019.
In the event that sufficient petition signatures are gathered to cause a recall election of a school board member, that recall vote would take place in a special election, unless the verification of signatures occurred close enough to a regular primary or general election. If there is a vacancy on the school board, the remaining members vote for the appointment, and in the event of a 2-2 deadlock, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors will select the replacement board member. If the remainder of the term is for more than two years, an election for a two-year term coincides with the general election, while if the appointment is for less than two years, the appointed incumbent holds the seat until the regular election. If the governor calls a statewide special election in an odd-numbered year, a school district ballot measure may be placed on the ballot for that election.
The change in election date requires the county Registrar of Voters to notify by mail all registered voters of the school district informing them of the change in the election dates and the terms of the board members. The school district will reimburse the county for that mailing expense.