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“They’re two separate elections,” Board of Elections Chairwoman Deborah K. Nichols said Monday.

Dorothy Brizill, a longtime D.C. politics watchdog, objected to the board’s interpretation, citing a city law that says no person can run for more than one office on the Board of Education, the council or for mayor “in any election.”

“To me, it’s just an election,” Ms. Brizill told the board during its meeting.

The board stood by the general counsel’s reading of the law, although Ms. Nichols acknowledged there will be challengestied to the “very complex situation we’re faced with.” For instance, a voter might find it strange to see the same candidate’s name in two separate sections of the lengthy ballot.

“We’re still concerned about confusion,” Mr. Danzansky said. “It’s something we’re going to have to work on.”

Mr. Danzansky noted the board may have to schedule a special election at a future date, anyway. If Mr. Orange - who lost to Brown in the 2010 race for council chairman - or another candidate were to win both a council race and the chairmanship in November, he or she would have to decide one seat over the other. Voters would then head to the polls once more to fill the passed-over seat.