Eleven candidates have entered the race for four contested seats on the Charleston County School Board in the Nov. 6 election.
In East Cooper, four candidates are running for two seats on the board: Kate Darby (incumbent), Joyce Green, Sarah Shad Johnson and Jake Rambo. Incumbent board member Chris Staubes declined to run for re-election.
In the North Area, three candidates are running for one seat: Cindy Bohn Coats (incumbent), Linda Mosley Lucas and Vivian Sheppard Pettigrew.
In West Ashley, four candidates have entered the race for one seat: Francis Marion Beylotte III, Herbert Fielding, the Rev. Eric L. Mack (incumbent) and Paul H. Padron.
School board seats are nonpartisan elected offices, so there are no party primaries. To appear on a ballot in a school board election, candidates must have collected petition signatures from at least 500 active registered voters in Charleston County, including at least 250 in the specific part of the county they seek to represent.
The deadline for filing paperwork was noon Monday.
Joe Debney, executive director of the Charleston County Board of Elections and Voter Registration, said several school districts around the state, including Charleston County, began requiring petitions to appear on a ballot in the 1960s.
While candidates must reside in their specified area, Charleston County residents can vote for all of the contested seats. In the East Cooper race, where two seats are up for grabs, voters may cast up to two votes.
Voter turnout for School Board elections tends to be smaller in midterm years, such as this one, than in presidential election years. Charleston County residents cast about 250,000 votes for five school board seats in the 2014 midterm, compared to more than 365,000 in 2016.