Elections to the District 401 Board of Education are nonpartisan. They are governed by the general election laws of Illinois, and they include the election of Board of Education members as well as referenda on various public policy propositions and advisory questions.
Date and Schedule of Elections
If, however, that date conflicts with the celebration of Passover, the consolidated election is postponed to the first Tuesday following the last day of Passover.
The most recent election for seats on the District 401 Board took place April 4, 2017.
Number of Seats Open for Election
Typically, either three seats or four seats are open in odd-numbered years, with the number of open seats alternating every two years.
In 2015, four District 401 seats were up for election. In 2017, three seats are scheduled to be open.
However, the departure of board members prior to the end of their elected term can cause the number of open seats to increase beyond the typical number. Reasons for early departure are discussed below in the section titled “Vacancies.”
Qualifications to Run for Office
A Board of Education member must, on the date of election or appointment, satisfy the following requirements:
► Be a U.S. citizen
► Be at least 18 years of age
► Be a resident of Illinois and District 401 for at least one year immediately preceding the election
► Be a registered voter
Ineligibility for Office
Reasons making an individual ineligible for Board membership include holding an incompatible office and certain types of state or federal employment.
A child sex offender, as defined in Illinois law, is ineligible for Board of Education membership.
Term of Elective Office
The term of office for an elected Board of Education member lasts four years, except when a member has been elected to fill the final two years of a vacated seat. (Elections to fill vacated seats are discussed below in the section titled “Filling Vacancies.”)
A term of elective office begins immediately after both of the following occur:
- The election authority canvasses the votes and declares the winner(s); this occurs within 21 days after the consolidated election held on the first Tuesday in April in odd-numbered years.
- The successful candidate takes the oath of office as provided in Board Policy 2:80, “Board Member Oath and Conduct.”
As specified in Board Policy 2:70, elective office of a Board of Education member becomes vacant before the term's expiration when any of the following occurs:
- Death of the incumbent.
- Resignation in writing filed with the Secretary of the Board.
- Legal disability of the incumbent.
- Conviction of a felony, bribery, perjury or other infamous crime or of any offense involving a violation of official oath or of a violent crime against a child.
- Removal from office.
- The decision of a competent tribunal declaring his or her election void.
- Ceasing to be an inhabitant of the District or a particular area from which he or she was elected, if the residential requirements contained in the School Code are violated.
- An illegal conflict of interest.
- Acceptance of a second public office that is incompatible with Board membership.
NOTE: A member can be removed from office if a majority of the Board determines that the member has willfully failed to perform his or her official duties and the majority then requests the regional superintendent to remove the member from office.
Whenever a District 401 Board vacancy occurs, the remaining members shall notify the regional superintendent of schools of that vacancy within five days after its occurrence.
The remaining members shall fill the vacancy with an appointed member within 45 days after the vacancy occurred. The appointment shall be made by a public vote at a meeting of the Board.
The vacancy shall remain filled by an appointed member until the next regular Board election, at which a successor shall be elected to serve the remainder of the unexpired term.
However, if the vacancy occurs with less than 868 days remaining in the term, the person so appointed shall serve the remainder of the unexpired term, and no election to fill the vacancy shall be held.
Candidates for Vacancy Appointments
Immediately following a vacancy, the Board will publicize the opening and accept résumés from District 401 residents who are interested in filling the vacancy.
After reviewing the applications, the Board may invite the prospective candidates for personal interviews to be conducted during duly scheduled closed meetings.
Individuals appointed by the remaining members of the District 401 Board to fill vacancies shall meet any residential requirements as specified in the School Code.
District Policies Governing Elections and Vacancies
The following district policies govern Board elections and the filling of vacancies:
Information for Elective Candidates
Anyone interested in running for election to the District 401 Board of Education can find information about deadlines and other requirements at the following links:
► Running for Office Starter Kit
(Prepared by the Cook County Clerk's Office)
Results of District 401 Board elections since 2001 can be found below:
► 2007 Election
► 2005 Election
► 2003 Election
► 2001 Election