Federal Court Approves Postponement of RISD Board Election Until November
Richardson, TX — February 12, 2019
A U.S. District court yesterday granted permission for Richardson ISD to postpone its 2019 Board of Trustees election — usually held in May — until the November 5, 2019, general election. “This is the ruling we anticipated and our next step will be to finalize a transition plan to our new 5–2 electoral system by August 7,” said RISD Board President Justin Bono. “This ruling means that November’s Trustee election will be the first to implement the new electoral system and include certain single-member districts.” The court’s ruling is the latest step in the process to transition the way Trustees are elected in RISD. The change was first announced on January 17 as part of the settlement of a lawsuit challenging RISD’s existing electoral system. The district’s new system will include five board members elected from specific geographic districts within RISD, while two will remain elected at-large.
On February 4, Trustees voted unanimously to adopt a board member boundary map that outlines specific areas Trustees will represent under the new single-member district election system. Board members now may turn their attention toward developing the plan that will detail which seats will be elected as the new system is phased in over the next three election cycles, concluding in May 2021. The single-member district boundaries were drawn using census data to create two opportunity districts in which the majority of eligible voters are racial minorities. Trustees designated single-member districts 3 and 4 as these opportunity districts. On February 4, RISD Superintendent, Dr. Jeannie Stone, recommended that when developing the transition plan, trustees consider including District 4 among the first three seats up for election in 2019. Candidates who already have filed to run in the now-postponed May election must re-file if they choose to run under the new electoral system in November. An updated electoral calendar of filing deadlines and other information related to the November Trustee election will be available at risd.org in the coming weeks. Learn more about RISD’s transition to a 5–2 electoral system, including adopted board member district boundaries, at the Board Member Districts page.