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The 2016 election for seats on the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District board will be canceled due to a lack of candidates.

Three people, including incumbents, qualified for the race this year and there are three seats available on the board. According to state election code, when the number of candidates is equal to the number of seats, it is possible to cancel the election and install the qualified candidates after the election.

The deadline to return paperwork for the school board race was Aug. 17. At the close of the nomination period, four individuals returned paperwork: Ralph Mechur (incumbent), Maria Leon-Vazquez (incumbent), Jon Kean and Jason Feldman. However, Feldman was unable to gain enough signatures from local residents to qualify for the ballot.

Candidates for elected office must gather at least 100 signatures from registered voters. County election workers verify those signatures and the City Clerk issued an updated list of qualified candidates this week.

City Clerk Denise Anderson-Warren said the school district has notified her office of its intent to cancel the election and will send a formal letter in the coming days.

Once canceled, the district will only have to pay for costs incurred to this point. Anderson-Warren said those total $150 to have the three qualified candidates’ statements translated into Spanish.

In 2014, the district paid $91,636.65 to cover the cost of the election.

editor@www.smdp.com