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Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Illinois Election Bill Goes to Governor

Over the weekend, the Illinois General Assembly passed SB 825, modifying various provisions of the Election Code . The bill has been sent to the Governor and is awaiting signature.

If the legislation is signed, the date of the 2022 primary election would be June 28, 2022. The first day to circulate petitions for the primary would be January 13, 2022, and candidate nominating petitions would have to be filed between March 7, 2022 and March 14, 2022. Any objections to the nominating petitions would have to be filed by March 21, 2022. In exchange for the shortened petition-circulation period, fewer petition signatures are required - for example, the signature requirement for an established party candidate for an office that is not specifically mentioned in the bill would be reduced by 1/3 and any maximum number of signatures (if applicable) would also be reduced by 1/3.

Independent and new political party candidates would begin circulating nominating petitions on April 13, 2022, and the filing period for these candidates is between July 5, 2022 and July 11, 2022. Objections to these candidates' nominating petitions would be due by July 18, 2022. 

The 2022 general election will be held on November 8, 2022 and will again be a State holiday (like the 2020 general election). However, this time, the legislation did not include language requiring government offices to close (unlike the 2020 general election).

The bill also requires each election authority to establish one "voter center" where any voter within the jurisdiction of the election authority can vote on election day, regardless of which precinct they are registered in. This provision sunsets in 2023.

The bill also prohibits local governments from adopting an ordinance, referendum, or resolution that requires a member of the General Assembly to resign from that position in order to seek election to a position in local government. The bill also invalidates any ordinance, referendum, or resolution that contains such a provision adopted on or after November 8, 2016. This provision preempts home rule authority.

There is a lot more to this bill, including provisions relating to cybersecurity, high school voter registration, expenditures by political committees, new accommodations for voters with disabilities, permanent vote by mail status, restoration of voter rights, and changing the word "alderman" with "alderperson," among other changes.


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