Ballot Access

With the 2020 elections around the corner, it is time for the Illinois Green Party's 2020 Ballot Access Drive. 

Even in normal times, it takes a monumental effort to get our candidates on the ballot. Illinois has among the most repressive ballot access laws in the nation. The Democrats and Republicans have created an unlevel playing field, requiring other political parties to gather 25,000 petition signatures from registered voters just to get their candidates’ names on the November ballot – and to collect those signatures in just 90 days. (Democratic and Republican presidential candidates only needed 3,000 signatures, with petitioning taking place last Fall.) In practice, this requires us to actually collect over 50,000 signatures, in order to survive the almost inevitable legal challenges to our petition filing.

You have probably noticed, however, that these are not normal times. Under the current national, state and local emergency declarations limiting public gatherings and public health protocols requiring “social distancing,” normal petitioning has been rendered impossible. At this time, we cannot ask members and volunteers to risk their health by physically approaching strangers, nor can we ask members of the public to get in close physical proximity to a petitioner and handle a clipboard and pen handled by unknown numbers of others. Normal petitioning is simply out of the question for the foreseeable future – yet the normal petitioning period begins tomorrow -- March 24th -- and ends on June 22nd.

Under this public health emergency, both the Green Party and the Libertarian Party have written a letter to Governor Pritzker and other responsible state officials demanding emergency relief – specifically, a waiver of our normal petitioning requirement.

READ OUR LETTER TO GOVERNOR PRITZKER REGARDING PETITIONING AND THE COVID-19 CRISIS

This demand is entirely reasonable. However, unless and until we actually obtain a waiver or other relief from the petitioning requirement, we cannot assume that the same public officials who benefit from the status quo will act reasonably.

Therefore, we are asking our members and supporters, and all Illinoisans who support the democratic rights of voters to have their choices appear on the ballot, to take the following steps:

  • Download our petition and petitioning guide here. Beginning on March 24th, but not before, if you are a registered Illinois voter, fill out and sign the first line yourself, and if you still have normal contact with other Illinois voters (close family members, spouse or partner, co-workers), ask them to fill out and sign on the lines under yours.

  • Once you have obtained all of the signatures that you think you can obtain safely, you can fill out the bottom portion of the petition as a circulator, but do not sign on the circulator line just yet, or anything below the circulator signature line. As of right now, there is still a requirement that the circulator signature be notarized. We are hoping to obtain relief from this requirement. We will have a follow-up announcement when we know more. In the meantime, there is no reason to make arrangements with a notary just yet.

  • Once you have obtained all of the signatures that you think you can obtain safely, you should also contact our ballot access coordinator, Anna Schiefelbein, at ballot@ilgp.org or 1-800-670-7048, and let her know that you have one or more petition signatures, leaving your contact information.

  • If you are someone who normally would be willing to petition door-to-door or among large crowds on behalf of our candidates, but cannot do so due to the current emergency, please fill out the form here. This will help us both in our efforts to persuade public officials to act, and, if necessary, a future legal action to obtain relief.

  • Please sign our “virtual” or online petition here. Although it is not a legal substitute for a notarized hard copy petition signature, this will also help both our efforts to persuade public officials to act, and, if necessary, a future legal action to obtain relief.

  • Please donate to our ballot access drive. At this point, we do not know whether we will still be required to do the impossible, meet some sort of revised petitioning requirement, or do something else entirely. However, if our efforts to persuade government officials do not succeed, we intend to file a legal challenge seeking an injunction to have our candidates placed on the ballot without the petitioning requirement. In any event, a financial contribution would be of great assistance. Please donate what you can!

  • If you know of a specific public event that would have been held this Spring, but has been canceled due to the emergency, please enter it into our event calendar here, even though it won’t be held. The reason is that we want to build a list of petitioning opportunities that we have had to miss, for possible future litigation purposes.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE PETITION AND PETITIONING GUIDE

 

WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO?

While we cannot send people out to publicly petition there's still plenty you can do to help our drive. Click HERE to volunteer.

  • Be A Regional, County, or City Coordinator - We need people to help organize and gather petitions from our petitioners.

  • Donate - Your donation will help pay our ballot access coordinator and regional leads, for paid petitioners, and for data entry and logistical work related to the drive.

  • Identify Petitioning Events - Click HERE to submit potential petitioning opportunities in your area.

  • Fundraising - Don't have a lot to donate yourself?  Help us by phone banking or organizing fundraising campaigns or house parties.

  • Share our posts and emails - Help us spread the word and get the Green on the ballot!

  • Join our media team - Help us spread the word about our drive through traditional and social media.

  • Are you a notary?  All of our petition sheets must be notarized and we will need notaries from around the state to help us process our petitions.

  • Data Entry - We try to confirm as many of our signatures as valid as we can, in order to have an accurate count throughout the drive.  To do this we need people to input and work with data in support of our recording and collecting efforts.

  • Legal Support - Whether during the preparation of the petition, the challenge phase, or bringing a lawsuit against the State of Illinois' repressive ballot access law, we often need the support of people from the legal field.

  • IT Support - If our ballot petition is challenged we will need IT support to make the state voter rolls accessible for petition signature name and address matching.