SUPPORT SB 188: Listing political affiliation for school board candidates


Senate Bill 188 would require the political affiliation of school board candidates to be listed on ballots. Currently, Indiana school board elections are legally nonpartisan. This bill would make it so that a candidate’s status as a Democrat, Republican, member of a third party, or as an independent would be listed on the ballot, as with any other election. Before a candidate can be listed as a member of their claimed party, they must have voted in the past two primary elections for that party or have their affiliation verified by local party officials. The bill also clarifies and strengthens language regarding school board vacancies. For example, in addition to deaths and resignations, vacancies can also occur if a member misses three consecutive meetings or misses six meetings in a 12-month period for a reason other than chronic illness.


Nonpartisan school board elections may seem innocent on the surface, but in reality they do a dangerous disservice to voters and students. School board elections are often small, localized races with numerous candidates. This can often result in a lack of sufficient information for each name on the ballot, therefore allowing candidates to sneak by without their true beliefs and intentions being known. Liberal activists have taken advantage of this to place many of their own in school leadership across the state. Hoosiers are unknowingly electing people who share diametrically opposing values on what children should be taught and who is primarily responsible for raising them.

Political parties matter. It is wishful thinking to believe that school boards are truly nonpartisan just because they are designated that way under law. School board members are at the forefront of the political and cultural battles of our day, and our children bear the consequences of their decisions for good or for ill. Far-left crusaders have hijacked many school boards, giving them great sway over the curriculum our students are taught. This has led to children as young as elementary school being exposed to Critical Race Theory, inappropriate sexual content and ideologies, and the view that we should be ashamed to be American.


The lack of a “Republican” or “Democrat” label next to a one’s name on a ballot means nothing when they are called upon to take actual conservative or liberal positions that affect your children. With school board elections being nonpartisan, even conservative Hoosier voters have not been able to stop individuals with harmful worldviews from obtaining power in education. With SB 188, Indiana can change this. The material our children are taught on a daily basis is no joke, and it is time school board candidates are required to be transparent about what political party they belong to. This is a critical step in ensuring that Indiana’s school will serve the best interests of children by providing activism-free education, not training them up to be tomorrow’s liberal voters.

IFI Supports SB 188.