CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Voters in Kanawha County will be picking from nine candidates to fill three available seats on the county’s board of education. But the top three won’t necessarily be the ones to serve.

School board members make decisions that directly impact education. So the vote for school board is one that many parents don’t take lightly. But the process for picking your favorite candidates can be tricky to understand.

“You can vote for three. Anybody you want to,” explained Kanawha County Clerk Vera McCormick. “They are run countywide. They just have to be from their own magisterial district in order to serve and there can be no more than two serving at a time in a magisterial district for a school board.”

A voter in Kanawha County can vote for any three of the nine candidates who are running regardless of where in Kanawha County the voter lives.

In districts where existing board members are from there may only be one spot open for a candidate from that district to win.

The people who will fill the three available seats could end up leading the way through some tough times as the county continues to face challenges with decreasing enrollment according to Kanawha County Schools Superintendent Dr. Tom Williams.

“You know just day to day policy, procedures how we do things,” Williams said mentioning some of the issues incoming board members could be tackling. “Loss of student population is big. It is something that may have to be addressed through consolidations.”

The school board has five total members. Right now two board members are not up for re-election. Board members serve four year terms. Because the school board race is non-partisan the winners will be selected in the primary May 10.