Pike County Board of Education to appoint new member

Due to the withdrawal of the winning candidate for the Pike County Board of Education District 4 race, the Pike County Board of Education will now be tasked with appointing the District 4 representative.

Tony May withdrew from the race before the general election but it was too late to remove his name from the ballot. On Election Day last week, 72 percent of the vote in district 4 was cast for May.

According to Section 17-6-21, Subsection C, of Alabama Election Laws, the local canvassing board has the right to certify the entire election, which it did, meaning that the votes for May counted. In county school board elections if a vacancy occurs it is then up to the school board to appoint the school board representative.

Judge Michael Bunn, Probate Judge for Pike County, stated, “I read the law and this falls under Section 17-6-21 Subsection C. We confirmed this with the Alabama Secretary of State office.”

In part, Subsection C reads, “In the event that a candidate submits a notification of withdrawal after the applicable deadline, the name of the candidate shall remain on the ballot and the appropriate canvassing board may not certify any votes for the candidate.”

The word “may” makes a provision permissive, giving the canvassing board the right to certify all elections in the county.

Dr. Mark Bazzell, Pike County School Board Superintendent, stated, “I received a notice of vacancy for District 4 School Board this morning from Judge Bunn. I will forward that information to our school board members and I’m not sure the timeline for action by the board, as it relates to the position, but our school board members have always been very thoughtful in how they address different issues and I’m sure they will handle this the same way. Again, I will be forwarding the notice of vacancy to them.”