Diyonne McGraw Should Resign the Alachua County School Board Immediately

Diyonne McGraw Should Resign the Alachua County School Board Immediately

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Concerned Alachua County Parents started this petition to Diyonne McGraw

Recently uncovered documents show that School Board Member Diyonne McGraw fraudulently qualified to be on the ballot for School Board District 2 during the primary elections in 2020, and her sworn residency is not in the District she represents. Per statute 1001.38, this requires her to vacate the position immediately. In light of this, we are asking that Ms. McGraw step down from her role as School Board Member immediately as required by law in order to maintain the integrity of the elections process and the ethical responsibility of the School Board seat.

Background
The newly elected School Board candidate has been found through publicly available documents to be ineligible to continue serving in the role of Alachua County School Board District 2. An inspection of the document Diyonne McGraw submitted to the Supervisor of Elections to qualify for her position shows that the house she swore as her address is not in District 2 where she is currently elected, but is in fact in District 4, currently represented by Dr. Leanetta McNealy.

On June 11th Diyonne McGraw took a Candidate Oath under threat of perjury in order to qualify for the ballot, stating that she lives at 4331 NW 21st Terrace, Gainesville, Florida 32605. This is the same address where she is registered to vote and where her homestead property is listed, and no other property has been claimed as her residence in any public documents. 

However, maps on both the Supervisor of Elections and the Alachua County Property Appraiser show that this house is in District 4, not District 2. The map at the top of this petition shows the two districts along with Ms. McGraw’s residence, which is clearly out of district.

Under Florida law, Ms. McGraw must reside in District 2 when she qualified to run for election. When she failed to do so, this should have rendered her ineligible to appear on the ballot. In addition, School Board Candidates are required under Florida law to reside in the district they represent at all times that they are serving on the board. If they do not at any time, their seat shall be immediately vacated, as per 1001.38:

1001.38 Vacancies; how filled.—The office of any district school board member shall be vacant when the member removes his or her residence from the district school board member residence area from which he or she was elected. All vacancies on the district school board shall be filled by appointment by the Governor.

Because Diyonne McGraw has never resided in this district, not only should she not have been qualified to appear on the ballot, but she should have vacated the position the moment she was sworn in. Even if she were to move now she would still be ineligible to continue serving, as the residency is required to be "continuous" over the entirety of her tenure.

Complaints have been filed with the agencies that directly oversee these matters, but we are asking Ms. McGraw to not drag out the process and to vacate the position immediately. Our teachers and students have gone through a chaotic and traumatic year in our schools, and they deserve to settle this matter in a peaceful and quick way. Our citizens deserve a free and fair election represented by a School Board Member who lives in the district they represent.

Update: The Supervisor of Elections has verified to CBS 4 that Diyonne McGraw does not live in the district she represents:

The address on the candidate’s Candidate Oath is located within District 4 of the Alachua County School Board. The candidate qualified and was elected to serve in District 2.

While it is the candidate’s responsibility to understand qualifying requirements, our office does provide guidance to all candidates.

Although the Supervisor of Elections Office does not have investigative authority, it will work with the proper authorities or investigative bodies to share information as it is requested and needed.

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