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Friday, February 12, 2016

Bill Would Authorize Recall of Mayors

It's been a busy week in Springfield, with dozens of new bills introduced on all sorts of topics. Next week, we will report on some proposed changes to notice requirements. Today, we report on a bill that would authorize voter "recall" of mayor or village president.

HB 5993, introduced yesterday, would amend the Illinois Municipal Code to establish a procedure for an election to recall mayors and village presidents. That process would require the following steps:

  • The filing of a referendum petition by voters equal to 15% of the total votes cast for that office in the preceding election. (in Chicago, at least 50 signatures must come from each ward)
  • At least 150 days prior to filing the petition, a "notice of intent" must be filed with the local election official (usually the village or city clerk) evidencing the intent to circulate petitions. That notice of intent must be by affidavit and can be filed no sooner than 6 months after the president or mayor's term of office commenced. (In Chicago, the affidavit must be signed by at least 2 aldermen in addition to the recall proponent).
  • If properly filed, a special recall election must be called by the clerk (or in Chicago, the board of election commissioners) to occur not more than 100 days after certification of the recall petition. 
  • If the recall referendum passes, a special successor primary election must be held 60 days after the special recall election. If triggered, a special runoff election may also be required.
  • During the interim between the passage of the recall referendum and the election of the successor president or mayor, the vice mayor or other individual selected by the city council/village board will serve as the acting mayor/president.
The bill requires quite a few "special" elections, all of which will incur costs for municipalities and counties, although that is not addressed in the legislation. This bill seems to be more of a political rather than legal maneuver, in light of recent developments in Chicago. We'll keep you posted.

Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf


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