Eye On Illinois: Readers say COVID, abortion and guns may affect voting choices


As you hopefully plan to enjoy a holiday weekend, here are a few recent thoughts from my inbox:

On Aug. 23 I invited readers to share what questions linger or which factors might prove decisive in the election between Gov. JB Pritzker and state Sen. Darren Bailey, R-Xenia.

One La Salle reader wrote to say they “actually believe the biggest issue that might move the needle, and is yet to come, is the pandemic and the way it was handled in Illinois by Gov. Pritzker. I think in the debates and ad campaigns in the last days, Bailey will go after the governor hard on this, and maybe there are unanswered questions in the minds of some voters.”

Scott T. Holland

Scott T. Holland

Another emailer: “Sadly I don’t think I can vote for either Pritzker, who says a mother has the right to kill her unborn child, or Bailey, who says it’s okay to have assault weapons.”

My inbox remains open. What may sway your vote – or make you stay home?

Responding to Tuesday’s column encouraging people to seek local office, Plainfield’s Michael Keniley wrote with extra suggestions about nomination petition requirements because the official candidate guide offers this limited information:

“Candidates should contact the election authority or the local election official who is responsible for receiving the filing of the petition for nomination and/or election to office for further information as to the specific number of signatures required on a nominating petition for a specific office (or for the data needed to calculate that number).”

According to Keniley, “Some local clerks will offer the minimum necessary and some simply only offer the percentage (basically, YOU have to figure this out yourself).” He suggests candidates gather at least 50% more than the required number, or better yet double, in order to have a sufficient cushion should opponents challenge signatures.

Other tips include purchasing voter lists at a county clerk’s office and getting “a second set of knowledgeable eyes to review the packet prior to filing” as well as getting help on preparing and properly filing economic interest statements.

“The potential candidate may unfortunately need to seek legal counsel to fight an objection, elections are no longer free,” he wrote. “Sadly many great candidates fail in their efforts to simply get their name on a ballot due to missteps and the ‘good old boys and girls agenda.’ "

While it’s true one need not be affiliated with Republicans or Democrats to run for city council or school board, it’s undeniable that local politics often is dominated by those with experience and understanding of the occasionally arcane rules.

The candidate filing period is open, I’d be interested in hearing about first-timers’ experiences trying to get on the ballot.

Scott T. Holland writes about state government issues for Shaw Media. Follow him on Twitter @sth749. He can be reached at sholland@shawmedia.com.

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September 3, 2022 at 05:09AM

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