|Posted:||January 8, 2019 10:12 AM|
|From:||Representative Matt Gabler|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Election Code - School Director Petition Signatures - HB444|
|In the near future, I plan to reintroduce legislation to correct an inconsistency that currently exists in the Pennsylvania Election Code as it relates to nominating petitions for the office of School Director (previously HB 444 of 2017 and HB 342 of 2015, which both passed the House unanimously). This legislation proposes to correct an inconsistency in current law that creates different ballot access requirements for candidates for school board within the same school district.
Section 912.1 of the Pennsylvania Election Code provides a list of various offices and the number of signatures required on nominating petitions in order to place their name on the primary election ballot for a given political party. Current law outlines the number of signatures required for nomination to offices ranging from President of the United States to Inspector of Elections.
However, not all offices are listed in the statute as currently written. The requirements for some offices are described simply by the class of county, city or township in which they are located. The office of School Director is not listed, creating an inconsistency in situations in which a single school district spans multiple types of municipalities, such as Third Class Cities and Second Class Townships.
In my home school district, School Directors are elected by region. Region A is coterminous with the boundaries of a Third Class City, while Regions B and C consist of various townships and boroughs. To run for school director in Region A, candidates must collect 100 signatures, pursuant to paragraph (23) of the current law (Public or party offices to be filled by a vote of the electors in cities of the third class at large). However, candidates in the other two regions must only collect 10 signatures, pursuant to paragraph (35) of current law (All other public and party offices). It certainly seems that there is no logical reason that candidates for the same office should be subject to such different requirements.
Therefore, my legislation will clarify that all candidates for the office of School Director will be required to submit 10 signatures for nomination. This will create clarity, simplicity and fairness in our law, and correct the inconsistency in our current law. This proposal has received the support of the Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA).
PRIOR SPONSORS (HB 444 of 2017): GABLER, GILLEN, PHILLIPS-HILL, JAMES, MILLARD, B. O'NEILL, WARD, WATSON, BOBACK, FRITZ, CALTAGIRONE and MICCARELLI
PRIOR SPONSORS (HB 342 of 2015): GABLER, DeLUCA, GILLEN, JAMES, MILLARD, SANKEY, WATSON, SIMMONS, PHILLIPS-HILL and DAVIS
Introduced as HB227