Second school board hopeful qualifies

Another incumbent member of the Oktibbeha County School District Board of Trustees on Friday qualified to seek a new term.
Yvette Rice qualified Friday to seek re-election to the At-Large seat on the county school board, bringing the total number of candidates to two as the qualification deadline approaches this week.
Curtis Snell, who holds the District 2 seat on the County School Board, qualified more than a week ago to seek re-election.
Snell and Rice are the only candidate in their respective races thus far, though Circuit Clerk Angie McGinnis said multiple other candidates have picked up copies of the qualifying petition documents and have yet to be qualified.
Qualifying for the non-partisan school board races began Aug. 5 and ends this Friday.
To be placed on the ballot, candidates must sign a statement of intent and submit a petition containing the signatures of at least 50 registered voters from the district he or she seeks to represent.
The Circuit Clerk’s Office staff and Oktibbeha County Election Commission must verify the voter registration for each person who signed the petition to ensure that at least 50 registered voters have signed it, McGinnis said. Otherwise, the candidate cannot be qualified under state law, she said.
“In case a person didn’t have enough signatures we would have to send them back out,” McGinnis said.
In addition to submitting the required petition, a county school board candidate must live within the county school district and within the district for the seat for which he or she is running and be a registered voter from the district he or she seeks to represent.
Candidates must never have been convicted of a crime punishable by serving prison time or have been pardoned for such a crime.
Because of the time involved in verifying voter registrations for the petition signatures, McGinnis said it is important that candidates submit the petition forms as soon as possible so they can be certified by Friday and allow candidates to obtain additional signatures if they are needed.
“We really need those petitions back earlier in the week so they can be certified by Friday. If there are any other petitions out there they need to start coming in,” said McGinnis.
The petition forms and statement of intent forms are available at the Oktibbeha County Circuit Clerk’s Office in the Courthouse Annex on West Main Street or may be downloaded from the Secretary of State’s Office website at and clicking on the “Elections” link.
County School Board members serve staggered six-year terms and candidates for seats on the board run in non-partisan races.
The Circuit Clerk’s Office may be reached by calling 323-1356 during regular business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) Monday to Friday.
In addition to the two county school board races, other races on the ballot for the Nov. 2 general election include those for Circuit Court and Chancery Court judge and for the 3rd Congressional District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.