Sunday, March 5, 2017

Top-Two Bill Advances in Illinois

On March 1st, a Nonpartisan, Top-Two Bill proposed by Illinois State Rep. Sara Jimenez (R-99th District) was assigned to Election and Campaign Finance Committee. The Bill, HB3655, was originally introduced on February 10th, and would make Illinois the third State to adopt a Top-Two Primary system for Statewide Elections.

CLICK HERE for more information about HB3655 Bill.

Another Bill, HB0285, introduced by State Rep. Mike Fortner (R-49th District,) that would reform State Primary Elections the same way. Fortner’s Bill was also assigned to Committee on January 25th. No additional action has been taken on the Bill.

CLICK HERE for more information about HB0285 Bill.

Both HB3655 and HB0285 would implement a Primary Election system in which all candidates, regardless of Party affiliation, would appear on the Ballot in each Race, and the Top-Two Vote-Getters would advance to the General Election.

Currently, Illinois uses what can best be described as a Semi-Open system, in which Voters do not have to Register with a Party, but they do have to declare Party Affiliation when they show up to Vote on Primary Election day, and a Polling Judge “must then announce it ‘in a distinct tone of voice, sufficiently loud to be heard by all persons in the polling place.’ If there is no challenge the voter is given the primary ballot for his or her declared party.”

Illinois uses this system for Statewide, Congressional, and Presidential Primaries.

Nonpartisan Election Reform has emerged in a number of States, including Arkansas, Idaho, New Mexico, and Virginia.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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1 comment:

richardwinger said...

The 7th circuit has already ruled (in Lee v Keith, in 2006) that Illinois can't have independent candidate deadlines as early as December of the year before the election. But because Illinois has its primaries in March, and these bills aren't proposing to change that, if the top-two bills passed, Illinois would be back to requiring independents to file in December of the year before the election, which is impermissible.

Think how ludicrous it would be for a state to have an election in November of even-numbered years, yet force all candidates to file for that election in December of the year before the election. Eleven months! Lots and lots of important events can occur in the eleven months before an election, and these top-two bills would lock down the ballot eleven months before the election itself.