Ann Arbor School Board Election Results

Adam HollierAdam Hollier

I asked one of my colleagues yesterday whether she had voted. She said she did not vote in uncontested elections.

There were two incumbents, Glenn Nelson and Irene Patalan, running for the two four-year terms. They were both elected.

And there were two relative newcomers (Adam Hollier ran for school board in 2008 and Ravi Nigam ran for school board in 2002) running for the one two-year term. Adam Hollier had announced in April that he was withdrawing his candidacy. His announcement came well after the February 13th deadline for his name to be removed from the ballot. Two names on the ballot, only one active candidate. Does that make the election uncontested?

I tried to find an article in Monday’s Ann Arbor News about the Ann Arbor school board election and could not find one. The Ann Arbor Chronicle had a nice article about the school board election on April 21. The lead paragraph was “On May 5, voters in Ann Arbor will choose three people to serve on the Ann Arbor Public Schools board. Actually, “choose” might not be the operative word: All three candidates are running unopposed.”

The voter turnout was 2.6%. One might think that those 2.6% would be the most informed and involved voters. They elected the candidate who withdrew last month. Adam Hollier received 1063 votes to 894 votes for Ravi Nigam.

Adam Hollier is an African American graduate student at the University of Michigan. When contacted by the Ann Arbor Public Schools, he was unaware that he had won but said he would consider accepting the board seat.

Michigan election law reads “Within 5 business days after certification of an election, each member-elect shall be notified of the election. Within 10 business days after notification by the school district election coordinator of election or appointment to the board, each person shall file with the secretary of the board an acceptance of the office to which the person has been elected or appointed.”

If Adam Hollier chooses not to accept, then the Ann Arbor School Board may appoint a new member. They could appoint Ravi Nigam, but are not obligated to appoint him.