State lawmakers are trying to remedy what they see as a broken election system that takes too long, is too invasive and has too much influence from corporate donors. Both Republicans and Democrats have introduced a group of bills to change ballot procedures, primary dates and campaign finance rules. Rep. Scott Drury, D-Highwood, introduced two of the bills, which would change the primary date for state and federal elections and allow for an open ballot. Drury’s House Bill 193 would change the primary election date to the fourth Tuesday in June. He said he heard complaints from both constituents and lawmakers about the long political process that he sees as flawed.
“It gives time for a lot of outside interest money to come into the races and say positive things about the people they like and negative things about the people we don’t,” he said. “What we’ve found is there’s very little money being spent talking about the issues.”
Drury said he thinks the state’s municipal elections are a good model. Springfield held city primaries Tuesday and will hold a municipal election six weeks later, on April 7.
Democrats aren’t the only ones looking to change the process. Freshman Rep. Steven Andersson, R-Geneva, filed similar legislation that would move the primary to July.