Thursday, July 17, 2014

Republicans try to get Libertarians off ballot in Illinois

Libertarian, Green Party politicians seeing blocks by established parties - News - Journal Star - Peoria, IL - Chris Kaergard:

July 16, 2014 - "Libertarian governor candidate Chad Grimm of Peoria, running mate Alexander Cummings of West Peoria and Green Party secretary of state candidate Sheldon Schafer of Peoria could be booted from the ballot along with the rest of their nominees for constitutional office thanks to the objections filed by Democratic and Republican party loyalists....

"Illinois law requires candidates from third parties — and those running as independents — to submit many more signatures already to get on the ballot than those running under the banner of the established parties, Republican and Democrat. For statewide office, while candidates from the two familiar parties have to file 5,000 names on nominating petitions, others must come up with 25,000 people willing to provide a John Hancock. (It’s higher still in some congressional races; in the 18th District, a candidate would have to file more than 16 times the 1,014 signatures a GOP candidate would need or the 626 a Democrat has to file.) ....

"'They’re not going to try to make it easy for people who are going to challenge the monopoly,' said Kent Redfield, an emeritus professor at the University of Illinois-Springfield. 'The rules are written by the people in power … The Democrats and Republicans will fight each other on (changing) different aspects of election law on early voting or same-day registration, but when the issue is a challenge to the monopoly that the Democratic and Republican parties have on Illinois elections, clearly the rules are written to discourage third parties and independent candidates.'

"The Libertarian Party ticket turned in 43,921 total signatures, and not quite 24,000 have been challenged by a pair connected to state Republicans. The Green Party ticket fielded just fewer than 30,000 signatures and about 12,000 have been challenged by an official connected to state Democrats. Constitution Party candidates also face a similar challenge."

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