Two of the five candidates running for a single Eden Prairie School Board seat on Nov. 2 will find themselves members of the school board, based on a board decision Sept. 27.
The top vote getter will complete the term of Veronica Stoltz who resigned in May. That seat will be one of four up for election in 2022.
Based on the board’s decision, the second highest vote getter will be appointed to fill resigning board member Beth Fletcher’s seat until a special election in Nov. 2022.
The Nov. 2 special election initially was called to fill Stoltz’ seat. Then Fletcher announced in August her decision to resign. She made that official at the Sept. 27 meeting.
Fletcher’s resignation came too late to include her seat on the Nov. 2 ballot, resulting in the board’s decision.
The board voted 5-1 to use Nov. 2 election results to fill Fletcher’s seat. Board member C.J. Strehl voted against the motion after his amendment to require a district-wide mailing to announce and explain the decision failed for lack of a second.
The board then passed a second motion to conduct the special election for Fletcher’s seat on Nov. 8, 2022, the date of that year’s general election. Fletcher’s seat will be up for election in Nov. 2024.
Both the elected and appointed candidates will assume their respective seats as soon as the vote count is made official after Nov. 2.
One vote only on Nov. 2
Even though the election will result in two new board members, voters on Nov. 2 will cast a ballot for just one candidate, a fact that some board members fear might confuse some voters and result in spoiled ballots.
The sample ballot at mnvotes.org clearly presents instructions to voters that they are to vote for just one candidate.
The district will make efforts to inform voters about the change, including using a previously planned postcard mailing in October. Otherwise, they are counting on the district’s regular communications and local media outlets to get the word out.