Ocean County Press Release
CANDIDATES seeking school board seats have until 4 p.m., Monday, July 27 to file their nominating petitions at the Ocean County Clerk's Office in order to have their name placed on the Nov. 3 General Election Ballot, according to Ocean County Clerk Scott M. Colabella.

"The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in changes to the filing of nominating petitions," said Ocean County Freeholder Gary Quinn, liaison to the Ocean County Clerk. "Potential candidates are encouraged to contact the Ocean County Clerk election staff at (732) 929-2153 with regard to petition filing."

Petition packets for school board candidates can be mailed to candidates from the election staff. In addition, recently signed state legislation allows for an electronic process for the collection of petition signatures and submission. Electronic petitions along with information on obtaining signatures electronically for an individual or joint school board nominating petition can be accessed at the State of New Jersey Division of Elections website at https://nj.gov/state/elections/candidate-information.shtml

Completed petitions can also be submitted via U.S. mail or hand delivered to the Ocean County Courthouse at 118 Washington Street in Toms River.

"While the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in changes to how we do things to prepare for upcoming elections, the Ocean County Clerk's Office is continuing to make every effort to inform potential candidates of approaching filing deadlines and about the process to file," Quinn said. "Through the office's website, social media, and other avenues, County Clerk Colabella provides the information needed by both candidates and voters."

Colabella said all Ocean County school districts hold their Board of Education elections in November.

"A law signed in 2014 moved the petition filing deadline for school board candidates from June to the last Monday in July to provide candidates with more time to submit their petitions," Colabella said.

Colabella said candidates can file jointly for the same office, title and term.

"Simply, more than one candidate can appear and circulate the same petition for the same office and term," he said. "In the past, petitions had to be filed separately, even if all the candidates were running on one slate."

In addition, candidates have the option of selecting a slogan of no more than three words to appear on the ballot under their name. The slogan selection is part of the petition.

Colabella said all candidates, even if filing electronically, are required to file a Disclosure Statement with their petition. The statement declares a candidate is not a disqualified voter and has not been convicted of a disqualifying crime. Candidates are requested to provide an email address on their nominating petitions.

In addition, it is important for all candidates filing electronic signatures to know that the Affidavit of Person who circulates the petition and witnesses signatures, and the Oath of Allegiance/Certificate of Acceptance by candidate all must still be filed with their petition.

"It's important potential candidates know the requirements in order to help the petition filing process go smoothly," he said. "It's also important that candidates get their paperwork in on time."

A total of 66 school board seats will appear on the November ballot in various school districts throughout Ocean County. A complete listing of all candidates who file petitions for school board will be available shortly after the July 27 deadline at www.oceancountyclerk.com or www.facebook.com/oceancountyclerk.

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