For years, the Illinois General Assembly has been trying to limit the people who could challenge incumbents.
No more write-in votes for people unless they register with the County Clerk sixty days ahead of time.
Even if someone does register, if another’s name is written in, complete with an “X” in the box, it won’t be counted.
Back in 1973 Algonquin Township Assessor Forrest Hare had displeased the Establishment and it put up a school teacher to run against him in the Republican caucus.
The caucus, which had three polling places where people could vote by secret ballot, was completed at the Field House of then-Crystal Lake Community High School.
The counting ended at about 3 AM and Hare lost by a couple of votes. No recount was allowed, even though the judges told Hare they weren’t sure the totals were correct.
Hare ran as a write-in candidate in the general election and won over 60% of the vote, not in small part because Mal Ballairs of Crystal Lake radio station WIVS-AM pounded the local Republican Party precinct committeemen for refusing to allow a recount every weekday until the election was held.
(To prevent such a situation in the future State Senator Jack Schaffer, who supported the effort to remove Hare, and I passed legislation in 1973 allowing township parties to authorized a township primary election, rather than the caucus route. Algonquin Township Republicans have done that ever since.)
Now, state law does not allow someone who has been defeated in a primary to run in the general election, even as a write-in.
The General Assembly struck again when the State Senate passed House Bill 2009 on last Thursday, March 29, 2012.
One day later it was signed by Governor Pat Quinn, so obviously something after the March 21st primary election stimulated quick action.
That, you will note was last Saturday.
I figure someone figured a Democrat had a potential problem.
The bill was introduced February 17, 2011, by Republicans Mike Fortner and five days later co-sponsored by Republican Sidney Mathias. It passed the House 75-38-1 on March 29, 2011, just one year before it cleared the Senate. where it passed the Senate 53-3 under the sponsorship of Democrat Don Harmon.
Here’s the language of the new law:
- who filed a statement of candidacy for a partisan office as a qualified primary voter of an established political party or
- who voted the ballot of an established political party at a general primary election
may not file a statement of candidacy as a candidate of
- a different established political party or as
- an independent candidate
for a partisan office to be filled at the general election immediately following the general primary for which the person filed the statement or voted the ballot. A person may file a statement of candidacy for a partisan office as a qualified primary voter of an established political party regardless of any prior filing of candidacy for a partisan office or voting the ballot of an established political party at any prior election.”
While the law probably got its Senate impetus from some perceived threat to a Democratic Party legislator, it probably will prohibit Dee Beaubien, who was calling people Thursday about her goal to run against Dave McSweeney in her deceased husband’s newly-reconfigured 52th State Representative District.
My thanks to commenter “Dave,” who posted the new statute under the story,
Of course, it is unknown whether Dee Beaubien voted in the Republican primary election last month, but the odds seem good since the candidate she favored, appointed State Rep. Kent Gaffney, was her husband’s budget staffer and she contributed almost $12,400 to his campaign.
And, there was no way she could have known that House Bill 2009 would be enacted right after the primary election, even before the ballots were canvassed by election authorities.
In the Senate only State Senators Shane Cultra, Dan Duffy and Kyle McCarter voted against the legislation. Duffy’s Senate District covers the one in which McSweeney is running for State Rep.
The roll call in the Illinois House had substantially more opposition. It appears below: