Education Watch: Read It to Believe It – What’s Going On with Kenosha Elections?

Feb 10, 2023 | Wisconsin Voices Blog

From From Kenosha News, an incredible story:

  • Kenosha school board members are elected to 3-year terms, spaced out to rotate members evenly.
  • A member elected in April 2020 resigned early in June 2021.
  • If this happens, Kenosha is supposed to appoint a new board member immediately to fill the vacancy, which they did in July 2021, then hold a special election the next April, which they did in April 2022.
  • However, this board member is only supposed to last until the original cycle is up to keep the same rotation. In this case, that would be April 2023.
  • Kenosha did not know this, advertised the 2022 election as lasting 3 years, and was not planning to hold an election for the seat this April.
  • The Wisconsin Elections Commission only let them know this 2 weeks ago, realizing that Kenosha Unified School District wasn’t having an election for it.
  • After discussing the legal issues, Kenosha will remove the board member, Eric Meadows, on schedule in April 2023. However, because there is not enough time to hold a legitimate April election, the other board members will appoint a new board member instead for just 1 year, hold another special election in April 2024, and then make sure that the member’s term lasts until 2026, not 2027, so that this does not happen all over again.

Rub your eyes and read it for yourself here and here.

Photo: Kenosha Unified School District

Additional context from IRG Senior Research Director Quinton Klabon:

→ This was a spring election in our 4th biggest city, so it is surprising that this was overlooked.

→ There is nothing prohibiting Meadows from being appointed or elected.

→ Unfortunately, this comes at a tough time for Kenosha, which is back in national news due to a security officer-student incident last year.