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.
Though federal law requires that overseas voters receive their ballots 45 days before the Feb. 26 primary, state law gives candidates until Monday to challenge their rivals’ nominating papers. Those challenges could take the state another two weeks to deal with, leaving overseas voters less than half the time they’re supposed to have to vote, the lawsuit says.