Coverage of CTU Election

[You can count on Substance News to get there first, when it comes to education news.  The runoff will be held June 11.]

Chicago Teachers Union election shows UPC and CORE will be in runoff… Complete count will not be done until Monday May 24

George N. Schmidt – May 22, 2010

At 8:42 a.m. on Saturday, May 22, 2010, officials of the Chicago Teachers Union announced the final count of ballots that were marked for the slates in the May 21 CTU election. The election results, while not complete, indicate that there will be a runoff between the two slates with the highest number of votes, the United Progressive Caucus (UPC) led by incumbent CTU president Marilyn Stewart, and the Caucus Of Rank and file Educators (CORE), led by King High School Chemistry teacher Karen Lewis.

CORE presidential candidate Karen Lewis and her slate challenging incumbent Chicago Teachers Union President Marilyn Stewart won a decisive number of votes in the union's May 21 election, guaranteeing a runoff on June 19 between CORE and Stewart's caucus, the United Progressive Caucus (UPC). Above, Lewis spoke to teachers at Chicago's Curie High School on April 27 at a debate among the candidates. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.

The results of all the ballots counted were as follows:

PACT….. 3,144 votes

ProActive Chicago Teachers and school employees, whose presidential candidate was former CTU president Deborah Lynch.

SEA….. 1,127 votes

School Employee Alliance Caucus, whose presidential candidate was Ted Hajiharis.

UPC….. 6,283 votes (32.26 percent of slate votes)

United Progressive Caucus, whose presidential candidate is Marilyn Stewart.

CSDU….. 1,273 votes

Caucus for a Strong Democratic Union, whose presidential candidate was Linda Porter.

CORE….. 5970 votes (30.65 percent of slate votes)

Caucus Of Rank and file Educators, whose presidential candidate is Karen Lewis.

Under CTU election rules if no candidate wins a majority of the votes, a runoff election must be held. The runoff is scheduled for June 11.

The total number of votes cast for the “slates” of candidates was 17,797. Officials announced that the total number of ballots counted as of the morning of May 22, 2010, was 19,477. The difference is ballots where voters split their ballots between candidates from different caucuses.

The American Arbitration Association (AAA) handled the election under contract from the Chicago Teachers Union and did the vote counting at their offices at 225 N. Michigan Ave. in Chicago.

The final official tallies of all votes will not be known until May 24. The reason is that 34 school ballot boxes were not picked up and delivered to the AAA during the May 21 – 22 election count. Officials assume that a problem with the couriers who were supposed to pick up the ballot boxes from those schools resulted in the large number of schools for which no ballot box had come in at the time of the May 21 vote count. As a result, the canvassing committee voted that the count would continue on May 24 following the pick up of ballot boxes from the schools that were not accounted for.

The schools whose ballot boxes were not at the AAA on the night of May 21- 22 are: Attucks; Austin Polytechnic; Big Picture; Canty: Carter; Clay; Coles; Cockrell; Dever; Dett; Dirksen; Global Vision; Grimes; Grisholm; Henson; Hampton; Henry; IDOC Healy; Johnson; Kellman; Las Casas; New Sullivan; Penn; Revere; Ross; Stock; Taylor; J.N. Thorp; Tonti; VOISE; Warren.

After learning of the large number of ballot boxes that were not at the count, the canvassing committee voted to ask the AAA to return to those schools and pick up the boxes that people assumed had been left in the schools because of delays in the pickups that were noted in several places in the city.

[Full disclosure: George N. Schmidt is a CTU retiree delegate and served as a CORE observer at the AAA for the vote count on May 21 – 22, 2010. 

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