MABTON - With two of five school board positions still up for grabs, Mabton residents have a chance to get their names on the November general election ballot.
That's because Yakima County has set Monday, Aug. 22, to Wednesday, Aug. 24, as a special three-day election filing period.
The two Mabton School Board seats are director district 2 and position 2, at large.
David Rodriguez held the at-large seat, but did not file for re-election and recently resigned from the post.
Blanche Tobin holds the other position, but has decided not to seek re-election this year.
With no one filing to run for either post during the June sign-up period, Yakima County is holding the special three-day filing period this month.
The Mabton School District isn't alone, as all told there are 15 seats in Yakima County that had no takers during the June filing period.
Kathy Fischer is the manager of Yakima County's elections division, and she said candidates during the three-day special filing period will either need to sign-up in person at the courthouse or mail in their form.
Fischer says to be careful if filing by mail because the county will not accept the candidate forms by mail if they arrive before Aug. 22 or after Aug. 24.
For more information about signing up as a candidate during the special filing period, call the elections office at 1-800-833-0569 or click on the election tab at www.yakimacounty.us.
In related news, the Mabton School District is planning a school board candidate Q&A session later this month for those interested in running for the school board.
Fischer said if seats are still without candidates after the special filing period, then it's considered a "lapse of election" and jurisdictions, such as the Mabton School District, then have to appoint people to the posts.
Fischer hopes it won't come to that, and that voters will have candidates to select from in all open seats when they vote this November.
Sam Reed, the Secretary of State for our state, agrees.
"As a former local elected official for many years, I can tell you that the local elections are often pivotal to the life of a community," Reed says. "Local government is the government closest to the people and those whom we elect will be making exceptionally important decisions in the days to come."