The board of directors is considering a change to Pasco School District’s electoral system. Currently, all board members are elected “at large.” This means any eligible voter within the school district boundary can participate in the election of each board member. The school board has been studying whether a system of district-based elections would provide a better opportunity for voters to elect the candidate of their choice in school board elections. A district-based electoral system would require a school board candidate to reside in a certain election district within the school district boundary and be elected only by voters residing within that election district.
Washington Voting Rights Act (Ch. 29A.92 RCW)
The Washington Voting Rights Act provides a process for the board to change its electoral system. The process requires public notice of the proposed redistricting plan, a comment period, and a public hearing. On February 9, 2021, the board of directors approved a motion to complete this process no later than January 14, 2022. Board approval of a new electoral system by January 14, 2022 would result in a new election for all Pasco School District Board of Directors’ positions in the November 2022 General Election.
Timeline and Additional Resources
Fall 2018-Winter 2021
Background information on the board’s study of this issue and prior presentations to the board can be accessed here:
District staff are currently working with outside experts to develop proposals for the electoral system. These proposals will be available for the board and the public by July 2021. A public study session to discuss director district options will be held on May 25, 2021.
The district will host several opportunities for the community to learn about the redistricting proposals and to provide input. The district will also issue formal public notice and hold a formal public hearing prior to final board action. The public hearing is tentatively planned for October 12, 2021 with board action tentatively scheduled for October 26, 2021.
Updates will be posted to this page and through the district’s Public Affairs Department. For additional information, email PublicAffairs@psd1.org or call (509) 546-2686.
For more information on the Washington Voting Rights act, visit the links below:
Candidates for the November 2021 General Election
There are three school board member positions with terms that expire in November 2021. Any person running for one of these three positions could be impacted by the potential changes to the electoral system. If the board of directors approves a new electoral system before January 14, 2022, a candidate who is elected in November 2021 will need to run again in November 2022.
Frequently Asked Questions and information for candidates can be found on the Washington Secretary of State’s website HERE: www.sos.wa.gov/elections/candidates/candidate-filing-faq.aspx.