A first-time candidate who mistakenly filed Friday to run in the District 5 Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board race will be allowed to run in District 4, where she actually lives.
Stephanie Sneed, a CMS parent who signed up shortly before filing closed Friday, said she thought she lived in District 5 because her children attend school in that district and she had talked with District 5 representative Eric Davis about student assignment changes affecting Eastover Elementary. After her name appeared on the candidate list another District 5 candidate, lawyer Jeremy Stephenson, checked her public voter record and discovered she’s registered in District 4.
After he notified the Mecklenburg Board of Elections and board staff contacted Sneed, she returned to correct her form. But because the noon filing deadline had passed, Elections Director Michael Dickerson sought an opinion from the state Board of Elections before adding Sneed to the District 4 roster.
On Monday afternoon Sneed joined Carol Sawyer and Queen Thompson on the District 4 ballot. Dickerson said it was an honest mistake and he’s disappointed that his office didn’t catch it immediately. While the state filing system checks records to make sure a candidate is registered, it apparently didn’t flag the discrepancy between school board districts, he said.
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“I hate the fact that we didn’t find it right in front of us,” Dickerson said, adding that his staff reviews all filings and would have caught the problem eventually.
The decision means there will be 20 candidates on the ballot for the six seats up for election in the nonpartisan Nov. 7 election. One of them, Amy Moon Hallman, said Friday she wanted to withdraw from the District 1 race because of a family medical situation but the deadline for removing names from the list had passed.