Illinois bill would restrict ability of parties to fill vacancies

Information and commentary fromBallot Access News
Illinois Bill to Restrict Ability of Parties to Fill Vacancies
March 13th, 2009

Illinois currently lets qualified political parties nominate someone after the primary is over, if the primary didn’t produce a party nominee. On March 10, the House Elections & Campaign Reform Committee passed HB 723, to restrict the ability of qualified political parties to continue to enjoy that freedom. The bill is sponsored by three Republicans and two Democrats, all from Chicago or its suburbs. A similar bill made some headway last year, but did not pass last year.

The bill seems especially hurtful to the Green Party, which is a ballot-qualified party. Current law says the vacancy can be filled until 60 days after the primary. The bill would restrict that to 16 days. The process for filling vacant nominations is very complex and shortening the time will make it even more difficult. The bill also says that after 16 days, a party can still fill a vacancy, but only if it submits a petition signed by 5% of the last general election vote.

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