Deadline for filing for office for tax districts that can raise your taxes is Monday at 5 PM.
Teacher union-supported candidates have probably already filed. (You can see who has filed for school board here. It takes 50 signatures of registered voters to get on the ballot. Getting twice that many is always my suggestion.)
The following was written by attorney and County Board member Mike Walkup:
FILING FOR THE APRIL CONSOLIDATED ELECTIONThose of you who have been complaining about local property taxes have an opportunity this week to do something about it.
Local school districts usually comprise about 70% of your property tax bill.
You can file to be on your local school board, and thereby have a direct vote on their budgets and tax levies for the next four years.
Petitions can be filed up to 5 PM Monday, December 19th at the office of the school board.
You can also run for various municipal, park district, library district, Community College, and other boards the same way.
To avoid potential legal challenges, you need to do the following:
(1) Get the proper petition forms. These can be printed from the website of the State Board of Elections. www. Elections.il.gov., 2017 Candidates Guide.
(2) Determine the correct number of signatures you need to get. For most school boards it is 50. For other offices it will vary somewhat. Read the Guide to figure out how to determine that number for your race.
(3) Determine the political boundaries for your district and solicit votes only from those people living in that district.
(4) Fill out the top of the forms before you start circulating. Leave the bottom blank. Be sure to correctly name the office you are seeking and the date of the election.
(5) Go door to door in your district, ideally with a list of registered voters sorted by address. If you don’t have such a list, you will need more signatures.
(6) Make sure that each voter uses a signature, and does not print their names. If one person prints their name, others following them tend to do so and you have an entire sheet that is challengeable. Abbreviations for such things as “St., Ave.” are permissible. Abbreviations for towns and the name of the county may be problematic. You are allowed to fill that portion out in advance or after the voter signs their name and puts down their street address.
(7) Get at least double, if not triple, the number of signatures you need, especially if you don’t have a list.
(8) Fill out the bottom as circulator, take it to a notary, and sign in front of the notary, having the notary affix their signature and stamp and date their notary expires. Be sure they are registered in Illinois, not some other state.
(9) Go to the County Clerk’s office, at the county administration building on Ware Road in Woodstock, on Monday morning, and fill out a Statement of Economic Interests. They will tear off the bottom which is your receipt.
(10) Get a Statement of Candidacy from the State Election Board’s website. Do not use the County Clerk’s website as she may have the wrong forms. Use the Non Partisan election form.
(11) Complete the Statement of Candidacy, making sure the information, including the name of the office sought and the date of the election, correspond with the petition sheets. If there are terms of different lengths involved in this election be sure to specify which term you are seeking on both the petition sheets and the Statement of Candidacy. Sign the Statement of Candidacy in front of a notary along with the petition sheets signed by the voters assuming you were the circulator. If someone else was the circulator they need to do that. (If you are able to see the person signing the petition, someone else can circulate, such as where you are in the car and someone hops out to go to the door. Passing petitions in a bar or at a party or function requires that you be in a position to at least see each and every person when they sign. Don’t leave them at a table and walk away. Anyone of any age can be a circulator.)
(12) Number the petition sheets (the ones containing voter signatures).
(13) Staple everything (Petitions, Statement of Candidacy, and the Receipt for the filing of the Statement of Economic Interests, plus the optional Loyalty Oath if desired) together.
(14) Make a copy of the above.
(15) Wait until 4 PM and take them to the office of the school board, or City Hall etc., and file the ORIGINALS. Have them stamp your copy and give you a certificate of filing.
If you do all of this, you should avoid any successful legal challenges to your petitions.
FATAL ERRORS: Not numbering pages. Not stapling pages. Not having either Statement of Candidacy or Economic Interests Receipt. Using state rather than local Statement of Economic Interests form. Not having enough valid signatures (voter not registered at address listed, printed signature, nickname or married name used when not on voter registration in that form). Slightly wrong office stated or wrong date of election used may get by but don’t do it. Statement of Economic Interests must be current and for the exact office sought, not office you currently hold which is different and outdated.
Remember, free legal advice is worth what you pay for it so you should consult an attorney and have him/her review everything before you start circulating and again before you file the completed packet