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Illinois court order halts mid-election rule change enacted by Pritzker | Illinois


(The Center Square) – The Liberty Justice Center secured a court order temporarily halting enforcement of an Illinois law that Gov. J.B. Pritzker hastily enacted prohibiting candidates that didn’t run in the primary from being slated for the November election. 

Earlier this month, super-majority Democrats in the Illinois legislature approved and the governor signed a mid-election year law ending the slating of candidates. Following a lawsuit, a Sangamon County judge ruled Wednesday that Illinois’ ability to enforce the election law against potential candidates is on hold. 

Prior to signing the bill, Pritzker called it an “ethics bill.” 

“It really does make sure that we don’t have backroom deals to put people on the ballot and run as a result of some small group of people in a smoke filled room making the choice. So I think, to me, more transparency is better,” said Pritzker. 

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signals support for Senate Bill 2412, which changes election law. During debate in the Senate Thursday, state Sen. Erica Harriss, R-Glen Carbon, Senate Minority Leader John Curran, R-Downers Grove, and Senate President Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, discuss the bill.  

Leslie Collazo, the lead plaintiff, said voters are lining up to sign her petitions and that the Democrats gutting a bill to hastily enact a law in the middle of an election year helped drive interest. 

“For them [voters] to hear that our current government went as far as trying to pass this legislation in the middle of the process … someone who may have not considered signing the petition for me before felt the need to sign the petition to bring fairness to this process,” Collazo told The Center Square. 

Hopeful candidates for the Illinois General Assembly filed the lawsuit in Sangamon County Circuit Court alleging violation of constitutional voting rights. Collazo said she hopes that the Illinois State Board of Elections will stick to its word and abide by court orders if opponents of the hopeful candidates try to object on the basis of the new law signed by Pritzker. 

TCS - Leslie Collazo

Leslie Collazo 

The deadline for the Illinois State Board of Elections to accept slating petitions is June 3. Objections to candidacies will be accepted through June 10.

“Our board will then vote to sustain or overrule the objections, most likely at its July 9 meeting. At that point, it is likely that the losing side will seek judicial review of the board’s decision,” said elections board spokesman Matt Dietrich. “The only thing that would change this process would be a court order enjoining the board of elections from accepting candidate filings or objections.”

Collazo, who is aiming to take on incumbent state Rep. La Shawn Ford, D-Chicago, said the process is exhausting.

“But it is a hill I am willing to die on. I am sure Mr. Ford would love to see me die on this hill but the overall sentiment is that there is no trust in our current government. Voters appreciate a regular everyday citizen willing to take on the machine, the giant, and, of course, they’re going to want to object to our petitions,” said Collazo. “People want choices. They feel their choice was robbed from them.” 

There are 78 active statehouse races affected by the new law. 

“We applaud the Court’s decision to uphold the rule of law and support voting rights for all people in Illinois,” Jeffrey Schwab, senior counsel at the Liberty Justice Center, said. “We look forward to continuing to defend these fundamental rights in court and will be pressing forward to ensure the preliminary injunction becomes permanent.”

The next hearing in the case is scheduled for June 3. That’s the same day candidates looking to be slated must file ballot access petitions with the Illinois State Board of Elections. 

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Caleb Alexander

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