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Circuit clerk certifies names on JFK United petition

 In March JFK United served the North Bolivar Consolidated School District Board of Trustees with papers to cease efforts to merge the district’s two high schools.
At the time the district was handed a petition asking for an election as to whether the board should spend and incur the debt of $1.5 million on the schools.

In March JFK United served the North Bolivar Consolidated School District Board of Trustees with papers to cease efforts to merge the district’s two high schools.
At the time the district was handed a petition asking for an election as to whether the board should spend and incur the debt of $1.5 million on the schools.
The two entities go to court today to hear if the injunction will be granted.
JFK United is a group of concerned Mound Bayou citizens and alumni of John F. Kennedy Memorial High School in Mound Bayou who oppose the trustees' decision.
Tuesday, Bolivar County Circuit Clerk Marilyn Kelly released her certification and validation report of the names on the petition.
“As with any subject of interest in the community, I believe this tedious process deserves being addressed,” Kelly writes. “As most people may have signed a petition measure at one time or another, most people may not know what happens to their ‘signature’ or that petition after they’ve signed it.
“Well, the Mississippi Constitution is clear in defining the Process of Certifying (Petition Signatures).”
The Certification Process dictates that before a person may file a petition with the governing authority, in this case the school board, the petition must be certified by the circuit clerk of the county in which the petition was circulated.
The circuit clerk shall certify the signatures of qualified electors of that county and shall state the total number of qualified electors signing the petition in that county.
The circuit clerk shall verify the name of each qualified elector signing on each petition.
“Again, the constitution is clear in its directive to the Circuit Clerk and as the circuit clerk, I’m only authorized to qualify eligible electors (voters who are active registered voters in the North Bolivar Consolidated School District) on this submitted petition,” said Kelly.
“While this office may qualify eligible voters, I am not authorized to dismiss duplicate signers of the petition.
“As always, I inform the people of Bolivar of my role as well as any component that is not my role. As the circuit clerk, I am the sole authority in registering voters in Bolivar County and I keep the voter roll in my custody.
“All voting districts, including school districts, on the voter roll are interpreted and fixed by the Bolivar County Election Commission to ensure that voters are placed in the right district according to their voter registration application.
“Therefore; it’s imperative that people register to vote and keep their voting record updated when they move.
“Petition Certifications and Elections are synonymous. Meaning, they both can only work when officials are given complete and accurate information,” Kelly said.
The petition from JFK United included 805 signatures and Kelly found that 684 signatures were accepted with 121 rejected.
Reasons for rejection included: Petitioner not registered In Bolivar County; Petitioner not registered In NBC School District; Petitioner did not sign / complete the petition; petitioner’s signature/printed name too illegible; and petitioner’s name has multiple matches / no address match.
Kelly said the petition certification was submitted back to Superintendent Maurice Smith.
On Jan. 22, the North Bolivar Consolidated School District Board of Trustees voted to realign schools by moving all high school students to Broad Street High School in Shelby and changing JFK to a Career Technical Education Center.
According to Smith, the district has been in financial distress with "about 1,070 kids in 5 different schools."
Smith also said maintenance was in "disarray" and the upkeep of all of these schools was financially hurting the district.

Last modified onWednesday, 11 April 2018 20:50
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