State Sen. Daniel Biss of Evanston persuaded a Senate committee today to advance his plan to abolish the local electoral boards that decide whether challenged candidates stay on the ballot. If signed into law, Senate Bill 1689 would assign the controversial panels’ duties to county election officials. “Our ballot access process should be as transparent and easy to navigate as possible, so newcomers and outsiders don’t find themselves at a disadvantage,” said Biss. “The current system, with its unnecessary and inefficient proliferation of boards stocked with incumbents, favors candidates who already know how to play the game.”
Articles about voting issues in Illinois.
Saline County Clerk Kim Buchanan was proud of the voter turnout in Tuesday’s Consolidated Election. She anticipated 25 percent and the turnout was 26.63 percent. For Buchanan it was a day that began before dawn with an issue not so uncommon for Mountain Township voters: A snake was believed to be in the township hall and polling place — the building that formerly was the Somerset school. Election judge Lisa Wallace said someone had been in the township hall the night before to accommodate plumber Dwight Howton who was doing some work and one spotted a dark 3-foot long snake. “It was underneath the sink, stretched out,” Wallace said.
Allegations such as voters being offered pizza coupons and campaign workers insisting on handling mail-in ballots for town residents have sprung up in Cicero as the heated race for town president heads into its final week. The Cook County clerk’s office has notified law enforcement officials, including the state’s attorney’s office and the U.S. Department of Justice, of such allegations and other claims of voter intimidation and voter fraud in the western suburb. Incumbent Larry Dominick is seeking his third term as town president. He will face former McPier executive Juan Ochoa and former town senior services director Joe Pontarelli next Tuesday. “The state’s attorney is out there (in Cicero) this week interviewing people about the allegations,” Cook County Clerk David Orr said Monday at a news conference. Orr said his office has gotten several complaints from voters. He said he is disturbed about town employees in uniforms who are allegedly campaigning and knocking on doors.
You can do your banking on your smartphone or buy a refrigerator on the Internet, but you can’t register to vote in Illinois without putting pen to paper. On Wednesday, Gov. Pat Quinn announced he wants to change all that by setting up a system that would allow Illinoisans to register to vote online. “In our Illinois, we embrace the voices, and the votes, of all people. Our democracy is strongest when more voters raise their voices at the ballot box,” the Chicago Democrat said during his annual State of the State speech. “We must move our election process into the 21st century.” Quinn aides say the move could boost turnout and eventually save taxpayer dollars by eliminating the need for personnel and paper to process applications.
Illinois: State election board sued over late ballots for overseas military in 2nd District race | Chicago Sun-Times
The U.S. Department of Justice is suing the Illinois State Board of Elections, saying it hasn’t allowed enough time for military personnel serving overseas to know who they can vote for in the special election to replace U.S. Rep Jesse Jackson. By law, overseas U.S. voters were supposed to receive by Saturday absentee ballots that include the names of all qualified candidates’ for the Second Congressional District primary, the federal lawsuit filed late Thursday says. But snafus mean they aren’t likely to receive the full printed ballots for at least another two weeks, it’s alleged.
Local election officials likely won’t have to wait around on Christmas Eve for candidates to file for office or pay out thousands of dollars in overtime costs because of a proposal awaiting Gov. Pat Quinn’s signature. The Daily Herald reported this month that because of the local election calendar, the last day for candidates to file for offices like school board is set for Christmas Eve. But legislation approved by the Illinois Senate Thursday would push that final date back to Dec. 26. The House already approved it, and Quinn’s spokeswoman says he supports the plan. Local offices then would be free to close or observe holiday hours on Christmas Eve.
A special primary election to replace Jesse L. Jackson Jr. in Congress will be held in February, Gov. Pat Quinn of Illinois announced Monday, as numerous potential candidates were already floating their names in public, calling leaders in search of financial and political backing, and sizing up the competition. Debbie Halvorson, a former Democratic representative who ran against Mr. Jackson this year and lost, has announced that she will seek the seat once more. Anthony Beale, an alderman, announced the formation of a political committee for the Congressional seat on Monday.
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn said Monday that a special election will be held to fill the congressional seat vacated by former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., who stepped down last week amid an ethics probe and ongoing health problems. Quinn said a primary election would be held on February 26, which coincides with an already-scheduled local primary election, and proposed setting April 9 as the date for the general election to coincide with another previously-scheduled vote.
Jesse Jackson Jr.’s resignation from the House could cost Illinois taxpayers more than $5.1 million, according to the state elections board. Jackson, Jr. offered his resignation today to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. Jackson has been absent from the Capitol for months while undergoing treatment for bipolar disorder at the Mayo Clinic. In addition, his use of campaign funds is being investigated by federal authorities. Looking at two special House elections held in Illinois in recent years — those to replace GOP House speaker Denny Hastert and Democratic congressman Rahm Emanuel — the Illinois State Board of Elections calculated those elections cost $2,700 to $4,000 per precinct. With 590 precincts in Jackson’s 2nd Congressional District, an election would probably cost around $2,575,000, the state board told ABC News.
Election officials plan to ask a judge to waive the standard time frame and allow a special election to replace Jesse Jackson Jr. to occur at the same time as already-planned suburban elections. Cook County Clerk David Orr said he and his counterparts in Chicago, and Will and Kankakee counties — the four areas included in the 2nd Congressional District — want the special election held April 9, along with a primary on Feb. 26. The suburban areas all have elections already scheduled for those dates.