Issue Statements - ILGP Endorses Equal Ballot Access Bill (HB3828) with Recommended Improvements

2020-02-16: The Illinois Green Party Coordinating Committee Endorses the Illinois General Assembly Equal Ballot Access Bill (HB3828) with Recommended Improvementsdemocracy.png

The synopsis of the bill states "Amends the Election Code. Changes signature requirements for new political parties and independent candidates so the amounts are equal to those required for established political parties, irrespective of party affiliation." While the bill goes a long way towards achieving that goal, to attain that goal the Illinois Green Party (ILGP) recommends the following improvements.

1) For President, the bill's proposed modified signature requirements for new parties are still not equal to the established party signature requirements.  

Established party Presidential candidates need 3,000 to 5,000 signatures (10 ILCS 5/7-11). This bill proposes new party presidential candidates will need 5,000 to 10,000 signatures.

The ILGP recommends that the signature requirement should be 3,000 to 5,000 for new party presidential candidates, the same as established party presidential candidates. 

2) For offices in districts that are not statewide, the bill's proposed signature requirements for new parties are also still not equal to the established party signature requirements.

Established party candidates need at least the number of signatures equal to 0.5% of the qualified primary electors of his or her party in his or her district (10 ILCS 5/7-10). This bill proposes that new party candidates for districts that are not statewide need at least the number of signatures equal to 0.5% of the qualified voters in such district or political subdivision.

10 ILCS 5/7-10 is clear that qualified primary electors is the number of voters that voted in the party's last primary for that district. The bill does not define qualified voters with respect to new party candidates. Does qualified voters mean the total number of votes cast for that office in the last general election or does it mean the number of registered voters in that district? Note that either of these definitions of qualified voters would be significantly more than the established party's signature requirements. This would need to be clarified, unless the ILGP's following recommended improvement is accepted, which would then strike that language.

The ILGP recommends that the number of signatures required for new party candidates for offices in districts that are not statewide should be the same number of signatures required by the established party for the same office that has the highest signature requirement among all established parties.

The bill was introduced to the Illinois House on 4/4/2019. There are 4 co-sponsors. The bill has been ignored by the House and has not even received a first reading.

The Illinois Green Party urges the Illinois House to pass HB3828 with the above recommended improvements.