Campaign and Elections Laws

Filing for Office

There are two ways to file as a candidate for election. The first is to file a declaration of intention to become a candidate and to pay a $20 filing fee to the county election officer of the county in which the district is located. A person may also become a candidate by filing a petition with the county election officer. The petition must contain signatures of 50 registered voters residing in the member district or geographic area from which the board member is to be elected or (with the exception of individuals running for at-large positions) 10 percent of such electors, whichever is less.  No candidate may withdraw their candidacy after the filing deadline.

The filing deadline for the November 2017 election is June 1, 2017.

Local Voting Plans

The voting plan to elect members varies among school districts. In some districts, all board members are elected at-large by the citizens of the district. In other school districts, some members are elected from certain areas of the district, and other board members are elected at-large. Contact your local county election office or school district superintendent if you need further information about the voting plan in your district.

Method of Elections/Voting Plans Changes in the local method of election and/or voting plan may be made between the first Wednesday in November of an even-numbered year (i.e. Wednesday November 2, 2016) and ending the first Tuesday in June of odd-numbered year (i.e. June 6, 2017), if the change is also approved in an election before the end of the period.

Changes to the Election Cycle

Boards must pass a resolution stating that the terms of board members that would expire at any time in 2017 will now expire on the second Monday in January of 2018.

There is no definitive date on when the resolutions should be passed, although it is advised that it is passed prior to the expiration of the board members’ original terms (June 30, 2017). Boards can also pass it much sooner if they desire. A sample resolution can be found here.
Campaign Finance

Most candidates for school board generally do not spend large amounts of money or accept large contributions. However, they have responsibilities under Kansas campaign finance laws. 
If a candidate intends to spend a total amount or value of less than $500 in either the primary or general election, he or she must file an affidavit stating that intent with the county election officer of their home county, usually the county clerk. That affidavit also notes he or she intends to receive contributions of an amount or value of less than $500. The affidavit must be filed no later than nine days prior to the primary election.

If he or she has signed such an affidavit and incurs expenses, exclusive of their filing fee, in excess of $500 or receives contributions in excess of $500 for either the primary or the general election, the candidate must file a more detailed report. 

This report must be filed with the county election officer within 30 days after the primary and general election. It includes an itemized statement of all expenditures the candidate made or obligations contracted or incurred in connection with the primary and general election.

The report also needs to include the name and address of each person who contributed more than $50 with the amount and date of the contribution. These obligations also apply to a person who is working on behalf of a candidate. Please note candidates for Wichita USD 259 have unique standards and a different timeline for filing reports as described in K.S.A. 25-4148.

Governmental Ethics 

Candidates also have to file a statement of substantial interest. It must be filed within 10 days of the filing deadline and is filed where the declaration of candidacy was filed. The statement details business holdings that may cause a successful candidate to be required to declare a conflict of interest on a board motion. 

Oath of Office

Winning candidates need to have on file with the county election officer the oath of office within 10 days of the election or not later than five days after the issuance of the certificate of election, whichever is later.