Instead, candidates are forced to choose which seat to run for, meaning that if there are two seats up for election and three candidates are interested in serving on the board, two of them end up vying for one seat and the third runs unopposed.
This year, two people, incumbent Ed Hughes and Nicki Vander Meulen, filed to run for Seat 7, and Kate Toews and Ali Muldrow filed to run for Seat 6. Then Hughes dropped out (although too late to remove his name from the ballot).
A similar situation happened in 2013, when Sarah Manski dropped out, leaving T.J. Mertz a shoo-in and four other candidates vying for two seats.
But what if voters prefer Toews and Muldrow over Vander Meulen? Or preferred two of the other candidates in 2013 to Mertz? Too bad; Madison’s unusual electoral system has chosen for them.
The School Board’s response to a flawed elections process has basically been: Meh, fair schmare.
“It’s just not that big a deal to me at this time,” board president James Howard said.
Attempts to reach Vander Meulen and Toews were not successful, and Muldrow said she is “willing to talk about the election process after the election.”