Preparing for 2021 ISD Elections

Brad Banasik

By Brad Banasik, MASB Legal Counsel/Director of Labor Relations & Policy

DashBoard, March 10, 2021

ISD school boards that hold elections under Section 614 of the Revised School Code conduct their elections biennially on the first Monday in June at a meeting of representatives from constituent boards of education. In 2021, the elections will be held on June 7, 2021.

Resolution Designating Representative

Under Section 614, a constituent school board must designate its representative for the election meeting by adopting a resolution not earlier than 21 days prior to the date of the election. May 17 is the earliest date that a board may designate its representative in 2021. The board must consider the resolution at not less than one public meeting before adopting the resolution.

The resolution must also identify the candidate the constituent board supports for each position to be filled on the ISD board, as well as direct the representative to vote for the candidate(s) at least on the first ballot taken at the meeting.

Election Meeting

The meeting of the representatives must be an open meeting conducted in a manner prescribed under the Open Meetings Act.

The secretary of the ISD board is required to notify the secretary of each constituent school district of the location and time of the meeting at least 10 days before the meeting (May 28, 2021). The notice must be sent by certified mail.

The county clerk serving as the ISD’s filing official is responsible for preparing the ballots needed for the meeting.

The chairperson of the meeting may accept nominations for an available position “from the floor” if no candidates filed for the position.

Nominating Petitions

Nominating petitions or a nonrefundable fee of $100 must be filed by candidates with the school district filing official (county clerk) 30 days prior to the election except if that day falls on a Saturday, Sunday or holiday, then the deadline is pushed ahead to the next business day. This year’s deadline is May 10, 2021.

If a candidate chooses to file a nominating petition, the petition must meet the following signature requirements:

  • If the population of the ISD is less than 10,000 according to the most recent federal census, the petition must be signed by a minimum of six electors (registered voters) of the ISD and a maximum of 20.
  • If the population of the ISD is 10,000 or more according to the most recent federal census, a petition must be signed by a minimum of 40 electors (registered voters) of the ISD and a maximum of 100.

County clerks are obligated to maintain a supply of “Intermediate School District Nominating Petition” forms and to distribute them to interested candidates. The petition must be circulated on a city/township basis.

Any registered voter who resides within the ISD can sign a candidate’s petition. An ISD candidate is not required to limit the circulation of his or her petition to his or her constituent school district of residence.

Affidavits of Identity

A candidate for election to an ISD school board must also file two copies of an Affidavit of Identity. The affidavit is filed together with the candidate’s filing fee or nominating petitions at the same office where the fees or nominating petitions are filed. Candidates who fail to file an Affidavit of Identity are ineligible to appear on the ballot.

The affidavit must be a written document, signed and sworn before a person having authority to administer an oath, such as a notary public.

Candidates should ensure that they are filing the most up-to-date Affidavit of Identify form, which will include the date “(8/19)” at the very bottom of the page. The Affidavit of Identity – School Board form is available on the Secretary of State’s webpage.

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