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Howard County school system to host online election for next student member of the Board of Education

Due to state-mandated school closures because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the general election for Howard County’s student member of the Board of Education for the 2020-21 academic year will be held online June 2 and 3.

The candidates — Joshua Drasin of Long Reach High School and Zach Koung of Howard High School — were chosen at the Howard County Association of Student Councils convention on Feb. 18. Student delegates, all 140 of them representing middle and high schools throughout the county, cast their votes after hearing from 11 candidates, with Drasin and Koung chosen as finalists.

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An in-person election had originally been scheduled for April 22.

Drasin and Koung began their campaigns in March but suspended them when schools closed March 13, according to a news release from the school system. They will resume campaigning May 4, using social media, personal websites and a page on the digital learning platform Canvas to communicate with students.

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All current sixth through 11th grade students are eligible to vote in this year’s election. Students will receive announcements on Canvas explaining voting and the election beginning May 4 and continuing until the general election. Media specialists at each school will facilitate the voting process, and the HCASC adviser will collect results from each school and compile votes in a final report for the Board of Education, the release states.

Each of Maryland’s 24 public school district boards have a student member, as does the State Board of Education. The state board’s student member is appointed by the governor and is able to vote on all matters except those pertaining to appeals or personnel.

In Howard County, the student member can vote on all issues except those pertaining to the school budget, personnel or other restricted matters, including union employment contracts and school redistricting.

For more information about the election, go to hcasc.hcpss.org or email HCASC adviser Cindy Drummond at cindy_drummond@hcpss.org. Students and community members may also submit questions to HCASC via Instagram @_HCASC_ or via email at hcascsecretary@gmail.com.

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