Justice is something for which we constantly struggle but only occasionally obtain in the U.S. legal system. Once in a while, though, we get a measure of it. And we are pleased to announce that this just occurred in the lawsuit we recently filed in the Northern District of Illinois.
As many of you know, Illinois has among the most repressive ballot access laws in the nation, requiring so-called “new” parties to gather 25,000 petition signatures from registered voters, in just 90 days, in order to get their candidates’ names on the November ballot. We have achieved that monumental task a number of times in the last 20 years. However, the public-health measures now in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic made petitioning virtually impossible.
Accordingly, on April 2nd, the Illinois Green Party joined with the Libertarian Party of Illinois and two independent candidates seeking ballot access in a lawsuit filed against Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois State Board of Elections, seeking emergency injunctive relief from the petitioning requirement during the 2020 election cycle.
Thanks to great legal work by attorneys Oliver Hall of the Center for Competitive Democracy and Ohio attorney Mark Brown (with an assist by our own Scott Summers), we not only persuaded the court, but even the defendants, that the petitioning requirements were unconstitutional under the current conditions. After some negotiating, the parties came to an agreement that was entered into this preliminary injunction order, accompanying an opinion and order by Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer, explaining the legal basis for the injunction.Read more
We have less than 3 months (March 24th – June 22nd) to collect 50,000 signatures from registered Illinois voters. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we are taking legal action to seek relief from these petitioning requirements. In the meantime we are circulating the petition following social distancing guidelines.
You can go to the following webpage where you can do many things to help with the ballot petition campaign, but at least please click on the link to download the petition. Then, please follow the instructions on how to sign the petition, circulate it within your home, scan the petition or take a picture of the petition with your signatures, email it to us, and what to do going forward to eventually get the notarized original to us. Here’s that link.
Also, check out these repeating events during the petition drive at ilgp.org/events:
- Petitioning Questions and Online Training - Saturdays at 3pm
This petitioning process is like no other. Stop on by the meeting via zoom on Saturdays at 3pm to go over any questions. We will also have online training.
- Ballot Access Coordination Meeting - Every other Tuesday at 7pm
Ballot access coordination, strategy, and updates.
The Illinois Green Party and Libertarian Party have jointly filed suit in US District Court, requesting that the petition signature requirement for the statewide ballot be waived or suspended for the current election cycle due to the COVID public health crisis.
Read the full complaint here.