Section I. The Russell County Board of Education shall be composed of seven members. Six of the members shall be elected by a majority of the respective qualified electors of six separate single-member districts, designated Place #1 to Place #6, inclusive, which shall be the same as the districts established by the Legislative Reapportionment Office in the document titled RUSSELL BOE 7 DISTRICTS PLAN 3, dated February 25, 2002. Only the qualified electors residing in a particular district may vote for the member representing that district. The seventh member shall be elected by a majority of the qualified electors of the county at-large, designated Place #7. Elections shall be conducted and the members shall take office in the same manner as currently provided by law.
Section II. (a)(1) A candidate for election as a district member of the board shall be a resident of the single-member district which he or she seeks to represent on the board for at least one year immediately preceding the deadline date for qualifying as a candidate, and shall reside in that district during the entire term of office.
(2) A candidate for election as an at-large member of the board shall be a resident of the county for at least one year immediately preceding the deadline date for qualifying as a candidate, and shall reside in the county during the entire term of office.
(3) A member appointed to fill a vacancy on the board pursuant to general law shall be a resident of the county, and a resident of the district of the vacating member, where applicable.
(b)(1) The member elected in Place #3 and the member elected in Place #6 shall be elected at the general election in November 2006, and every six years thereafter.
(2) The member elected in Place #1 and the member elected in Place #7 shall be elected at the general election in November 2008, and every six years thereafter.
(3) The member elected in Place #2, the member elected in Place #4, and the member elected in Place #5 shall be elected at the general election in November 2010, and every six years thereafter.
(4) Members serving on the board upon the ratification of this amendment, including those members elected at the general election in November 2004 pursuant to Act 82-322, 1982 Regular Session (Acts 1982, p. 434), shall continue to serve on the board until the term for which they were originally elected expires. Such persons shall assume office at the same time as currently provided by law.
(c) If the boundaries of a district change, or if redistricting places an incumbent district board member outside of his or her district, the member shall nevertheless continue to serve the remainder of the term to which he or she was elected.
(d) The board, by majority vote, may change the boundaries of the single member districts and shall reapportion the districts as required by law utilizing the principle of equal representation. Pursuant to this subsection, the board may provide for single member election districts or at-large membership districts, or both.
Section III. The Legislature, by local law, from time to time may provide for the election of the members of the Russell County Board of Education and may provide further for the operation of the board. Such local act or acts may include, but are not limited to, providing for termination of the terms of members of the existing county board of education; the composition of the county board of education; initial and succeeding terms of office, including staggered terms; qualifications; powers, duties, and responsibilities; vacancies; and compensation.
Section IV. The Russell County Board of Education shall take necessary steps to ensure this amendment complies with the Federal Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended, before any election is conducted pursuant to this amendment.