With less than a week before the May 24th primary, Aubrey Miller, the current president of the Shelby County School Board of Education (BOE), is facing questions regarding his eligibility to appear on the ballot. 

The issue is over Amendment 929 of the Alabama Constitution, which applied to Shelby County and was ratified in 2018.

According to the amendment, only people living in Shelby County but outside the corporate limits of any city that has its own separate board of education are eligible to run for and to vote for the Shelby County BOE. A second section says that “the name of no candidate shall be printed upon any official ballot used at any primary election unless such person is legally qualified to hold the office for which he or she is a candidate and unless he or she is eligible to vote in the primary election in which he or she seeks to be a candidate.”

Property tax records list Miller's official address in the Hoover School District, presenting a conflict with the amendment since Hoover schools have their own Board of Education. His address makes him ineligible to vote in the Shelby County BOE primary and, therefore, ineligible to be on the ballot.

Miller is facing Brian Boatman for the second of two seats being contested on the GOP ballot for the Shelby County BOE. Boatman said he only recently became aware of the conflict. Boatman claimed another supporter pointed out a section of the code to indicate Miller wouldn’t be able to run.

“It came to my attention because we were trying to figure out who can vote in Shelby County, and someone made a comment about Aubrey living in Hoover,” said Boatman. “I thought it was odd he was running, but he can’t vote for himself.".

According to Miller, he is aware the concern is being raised but is confident in his legal standing.

“We are on sound legal footing and within what is required by law,” said Miller. “I also believe the Republican Party of Shelby County has appropriately approved my filing, and there were no objections to my filing.”

Miller was last elected in 2016, before the current Amendment was passed.

In a statement to 1819 News, Alabama State GOP Chairman John Wahl indicated the responsibility for resolution of the issue should be at the county level.

"Eligibility issues regarding county elected officials are the jurisdiction of county government,” Wahl said. “County political parties are charged with qualifying candidates for county government. Any further questions should be addressed to those two entities."

Joan Reynolds, Chair of the Shelby County Republican Party, as well as Vice-Chair Tom Richardson did not return multiple requests for comment.

The Shelby County GOP is aware of the situation but, to date, has not taken any action. If Miller wins, the results could wind up in court. When asked about the possibility of a legal challenge, Boatman said he would wait until after the election to determine any possible action.

Miller is a Birmingham native, educated at Woodlawn High School and Samford University, and he received a master's degree from the University of Alabama.

Miller has served as Executive Director of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in Alabama and as a pastor. His LinkedIn profile says he retired as Executive Vice President of the YMCA of Greater Birmingham.

Boatman is running on a campaign for "more conservative leadership." He is an Army veteran from Helena, and he went into the medical/pharmaceutical industry after completing time in the military.

The Shelby County BOE manages and supports 15 elementary, six middle, and 10 high/centralized schools in Shelby County. Board members are elected and serve a term of 6 years. 

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email sean.taylor@1819news.com.

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