This year, as in most years, West Milford voters are instructed to “Vote for Three” Board of Education Candidates from the list of five candidates’ names.
Each of the three top vote-getters in the election will serve a full, three-year term as a Volunteer School Board Trustee starting in January 2021.
What are “Brackets?”
According to the NJ Division of Elections (www.nj.gov,) legislation enacted in 2018 permits Board of Education candidates to be bracketed together with other school board candidates of their choice on the election ballot. This permits candidates with similar views and positions to be grouped together under one common slogan.
Bracketed candidates are selected together (to be bracketed together on the ballot) during the random process for ballot positioning. Non-bracketed candidates are listed singly in the same ballot section with their ballot position numbers as assigned by the process.
In this case, voters will see the school board candidates listed on their ballots with bracketed candidate names stacked together beneath their running mates; but each still has their own ballot position within the bracket grouping for voting purposes, just as the non-bracketed candidates do.
It is important to note, as noted on the state election website, that one vote (one filled-in circle on the ballot) counts only for that one candidate whose name is listed next to that circle - even for candidates that are listed within a bracket. So if voters wants to vote for all (or any) of the candidates within a bracket, they still must select each candidate they wish to choose individually - by filling in the corresponding circle next to each of those candidate’s names on the ballot; the same way they would do for selecting a non-bracketed candidate.
For the West Milford Board of Education Election, voters can select a total of three candidates from the five candidates listed on the ballot, regardless of whether they are in bracketed or non-bracketed positions.
The West Milford Ballot choices for school board
At the top of the ballot section, “ELECTION: West Milford School District”, underneath the office title: “Members of the Board of Education”, are instructions on how many candidates voters can choose for that office, and the number of years they will serve.
According to the school district website: “There are nine elected Board of Education Trustees, each serving a rotating three-year term. Each Trustee has an equal vote on all issues. The Board President and Vice President are elected by the School Board for one year of service. The Trustees volunteer their time and do not receive financial compensation for their service.” 1
Each year, three Trustee positions are on the election ballot for the public vote to serve a three-year term on the school board.