Anne Arundel County teachers could be accused of flogging a dead horse.

The teachers union has decided to proceed with a no-confidence vote against Superintendent Eric J. Smith, even as the schools chief packs his bags after resigning last month.

Straw ballots are circulating in county schools, accompanied by a two-page memo that recounts virtually every labor issue raised during Smith's three-year tenure. Union representatives from every school will take a formal up-down vote Nov. 2, with each steward's vote reflecting the majority of ballots from the school.

None of this would seem to have much bearing on Smith, who works his last day in Anne Arundel three weeks later. He resigned over differences with the school board and has taken a job at Harvard University.

Sheila Finlayson, president of the Teachers Association of Anne Arundel County, said the vote -- virtually certain to go against Smith -- serves as an important reminder to the interim superintendent who will replace him. Board members are expected to name Smith's temporary successor as soon as the end of the week. A permanent replacement will be named in the spring.

"I hope that the interim and the new superintendent will truly recognize the value of teachers and try to accommodate their needs," Finlayson said.

Robert C. Leib, Smith's chief of staff, said Smith would have no comment on the union ballot. Discussing the prospect of a confidence vote in April, Smith said, "I think this is a very unfortunate move."