Top of Page
Main

Chicago Public Schools Announces Updates to 2020 LSC Elections

21 October 2020

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Parents, Guardians and Staff Can Choose Between Voting In-Person or By Mail; Strong Health Protocols in Place for In-Person Voting; Elementary School LSC Elections Will Be Held on November 18 and High School LSC Elections will be Held on November 19 

CPS Office of Communications

Phone: 773-553-1620
Website: www.cps.edu
Twitter: @chipubschools
Facebook: chicagopublicschools

CHICAGO - Chicago Public Schools today announced updates to the district’s 2020 LSC elections, including offering mail-in voting for CPS parents, guardians and staff for the first time. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, parents, guardians and staff can choose between either voting in-person at their respective school, submitting their ballot by mail, or dropping off their mail ballot at their school.  For in-person voting, the district is implementing stringent health and safety measures, including social distancing, face covering requirements, and completing a health screener and temperature check prior to entering school buildings. The district will also offer curbside voting for individuals with disabilities.

“We know that parents are balancing various commitments which is why we are pleased to offer them the option to vote by mail for the upcoming LSC elections so their voices can be heard in the most seamless way possible,” said CPS CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson. “Safety is our top priority, and whether parents vote in-person or by mail, we will ensure that eligible voters who want to participate in our LSC elections are able to do so.” 

Community members will still be required to vote in person because the district does not have access to information for every prospective community voter living within a school’s boundary in order to provide a mail-in ballot. Additionally, high schoolers will participate in elections using a digital format. The chart below provides key information for each voting constituency:

Eligible Voter Group

Voting Options

Additional Information

Parents & Guardians 

In-person or mail-in ballots

  • All parents/guardians will be sent a mail-in ballot with a pre-paid return envelope. 

  • Mail-in ballots must be postmarked by the date of the election (either November 18 or November 19). All mail-in ballots received by November 30th will be counted. 
  • Parents can also drop off their mail-in ballot at their school up to the date of the election. 

  • The district will use Aspen data to send every CPS parent or guardian a mail-in ballot and prepaid return envelope by the week of November 2.

Community Members

In-person 

  • Because the district does not have a roster of all residents living within an attendance boundary, community members will vote in-person, with enhanced health and safety measures. 

High School Students 

Virtual 

  • Students will receive electronic ballots from principals on November 16. Students will only be able to vote for student members.

Staff

In-person or mail-in ballots

  • All staff members eligible to vote will be sent a mail-in ballot with a prepaid return envelope. 

  • Mail-in ballots must be postmarked by the date of the election (either November 18 or November 19). All mail-in ballots received by November 30th will be counted. 

  • Staff can also drop off their mail-in ballot at school up to the date of the election. 

  • The district will use Talent and HR data to send every eligible CPS staff member a mail-in ballot and prepaid return envelope by the week of November 2.  

Prioritizing Flexibility and Safety 

All parents, legal guardians, or temporary custodians of a CPS student are eligible to vote in an LSC election at that student’s respective elementary or high school. Elections are also open to any community members who are 17 years or older and reside in a respective school’s attendance area or voting district, even if they do not have any children enrolled at the school. 

In-Person Election Times and Dates: 

  • Elementary Schools: November 18 between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.

  • High Schools: November 19 between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.

For all parents, community members who will be voting in-person, the district has implemented stringent health protocols to ensure the safety of voting in a school building. These include: 

  • Requiring voters to wear a cloth face covering, sanitize their hands, maintain social distancing, and complete a health screener and temperature check prior to entering the building.

  • Offering curbside voting for individuals with disabilities, individuals who cannot wear a mask, or individuals who choose not to enter the polling place due to pre-existing health conditions.

  • Utilizing sneeze guards and other physical barriers to protect staff when voters arrive, and using posted signage throughout school facilities to emphasize new policies and procedures.

Important Policies and Dates

All in-person voters will need to bring two current forms of identification with them to vote. Acceptable forms of identification include a drivers license, Illinois ID, public library card, MediPlan or Medicare card, permanent resident card, matricula consular, voter registration card, current lease, utility bill, credit or debit card, or court documents. The district does not track or check immigration status, and eligible voters do not need to be U.S. Citizens in order to vote. Specific identification requirements for voter type is included below: 

  • Parent and Guardian Voters (In-person or Mail-in): 

    • Parents and guardians will receive a mail-in ballot. Parents who choose to participate in-person must present at least one form of identification that confirms their child is enrolled at the CPS school where they are voting. No ID is required for parents and guardians who drop off a mail-in ballot. 

  • Community Voters (In-person)

    • At least one form of identification must confirm residential address (examples: lease or utility bill).

  • High School Student Voters (Virtual):

    • Students will receive the digital survey from their principal. Students must use their cps.edu accounts to access the poll.

  • Staff Voters (In-person or Mail-in)

    • Staff will receive a mail-in ballot. Staff who choose to participate in-person must present at least one form of identification to confirm their employment at the CPS school where they are voting. No ID is required for staff who drop off a mail-in ballot. 

Rise in the Number of Candidates Demonstrates Renewed interest in LSCs

The district has seen a rise in the number of candidates applying to be LSC members, including a drastic decline in the number of seats without any candidates compared to the last election in 2018. The district believes this is attributable to renewed interest around the role of LSCs in determining whether to retain SROs, expanded outreach efforts, and increased visibility into the critical role LSC members play in their school communities through a robust marketing strategy that included an email campaign, blogs, social media, targeted ads, radio spots, leveraging partnerships, and more. 

  • Election 2020: 5,910 candidates, running for 5,672 seats, 696 seats without a candidate 

  • Election 2018: 5,658 candidates, running for 5,730 seats, 886 seats without a candidate

  • Election 2016: 5,926 candidates, running for 5,729 seats, 808 seats without a candidate  

Chicago Public Schools serves 341,000 students in 638 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.

                                                                               ###

*This release was updated from its original version on November 13 to reflect new information.