Two of the major third party challengers in the race for governor cleared another hurdle yesterday, as the window to challenge a candidate’s petition signatures closed. Neither McCann of the Conservative Party nor Kash Jackson of the Libertarians will face a petition challenge. This ensures both new parties will show up on the ballot in November. Most of the Green, Libertarian, and Independent candidates for Congress or the General Assembly were not so fortunate.
Candidates are required to turn in a certain number of signatures to get on the ballot. Because not every signature will pass muster, they are allowed to turn in two to three times as many as they need (depending on the office). Rivals will often challenge the petition signatures if they believe that a candidate failed to turn in enough valid signatures. After an investigation process, a candidate can be struck from the ballot if they lack the necessary number.
Even if a candidate is eventually vindicated, dealing with a challenge is both expensive and time consuming. Both Jackson and McCann took the same approach to avoid one, and turned in far more signatures than needed. An independent running for statewide office needs a minimum of 25,000 valid signatures. The Libertarians turned in nearly 48,000 signatures; McCann reportedly gathered some 65,000 signatures. Because they ran as a slate, all of the Libertarian statewide candidates also avoided a challenge.
To learn more about the candidates for governor, check out our Campaign Headquarters page.
Third parties and independents file for ballot access
Today was the last day for Libertarians, Greens, other new parties, and independent candidates to get on the general election ballot. In addition to filing later in the season, these candidates must gather substantially more signatures than their established party counterparts. But despite these hurdles, candidates from several new parties made their way to the Board of Elections to get on the ballot.
The Libertarian Party was the only new party to field a full slate. Led by gubernatorial candidate Grayson “Kash” Jackson, the Libertarians ran candidates for all of the statewide offices. Last year the party won a major legal victory to abolish the full-slate rules, which required new parties to run candidates for every office. However, cautious of a last-minute appeal, they chose to run as a slate.
One candidate of local note did choose to take advantage of the new rules. Sen. Sam McCann (I-50) filed for governor on the Conservative Party ticket. McCann was formerly a member of the Republican Party and caucus. A small number of Green, Libertarian, and independent candidates also filed in congressional and General Assembly races across the state.
While getting on the ballot today is hard enough, staying on the ballot can be another challenge. Petitions can be challenged by opponents. In addition to the normal issues with petitions being unreadable or having unregistered names, petitions for independents cannot be passed by anyone who passed a petition for an established party earlier in the election season. If enough petitions are ruled invalid, the candidate will be removed from the ballot. All of the candidates who filed today will likely be challenged.
Rep. Bustos endorses Londrigan in the 13th
Democratic candidate Betsy Dirksen Londrigan picked up another endorsement. Speaking at the Springfield Mel-O-Cream Donuts shop, Illinois Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-17) endorsed the Democratic challenger in the 13th. Bustos is the only Democratic Congressional representative from Central Illinois. During her speech, Bustos spoke in favor of unions as key to growing the middle class. The event was attended by around 50 people.
To learn more about Betsy Dirksen Londrigan and the other candidates in the 13th, check out our Campaign Headquarters page.
Nonprofit pushing Illinois to lower voting age to 16 for local elections
While Illinois lawmakers and local officials are considering raising the legal age to smoke and own firearms, a push to lower the voting age is gaining steam.
Vote 16 Illinois is a chapter of Vote 16 USA, a nonprofit with a goal to lower the legal voting age requirements for local elections. The group is working with state lawmakers to start the conversation about getting 16-year-olds the right to vote.
Brandon Klugman, with Vote 16’s national chapter, said that voting at 16 sets the tone for civic participation in later years.
“When people vote in the first election they’re eligible for, they’re much more likely to continue voting in subsequent elections,” he said.
Perhaps more compelling to detractors of allowing a 16-year-old to vote in local elections: If they’re already working and paying taxes, shouldn’t they have a say in that process?
“Young people who are working and paying taxes are definitely aware of that fact,” Klugman said.
When asked why it’s acceptable for a young person to vote five years before they can buy cigarettes, as was approved by the Illinois Senate in April, Klugman said the timelines aren’t comparable.
“Each age line should be set at what makes the most sense in that particular behavior and that particular activity,” he said.
Allowing local votes at 16 would require changing the state’s constitution. The Illinois Constitution would have to be amended to allow only home-rule municipalities the option to lower their age requirement. It’s not impossible. It was changed via referendum in 1988 to lower the voting age from 21 to 18, where it stands now.
Eighteen would still be the age limit for elections with federal consequences.
Article by the Cole Lauterbach, for more INN News visit ILnews.org