Illinois chapters of 3rd political parties, the Libertarian Party and the Green Party of the United States, have filed a federal lawsuit claiming the governor of Illinois, J.B. Pritzker’s stay-at-home order has interfered with the petition process necessary for their candidates to get on the November ballot.
The lawsuit that was filed in Chicago last week alleges that the governor’s order that includes social distancing and for families and households to shelter-in-place, have made it near “impossible” to collect signatures because the signatures need to be handwritten. As of yet, the state does not have a way to collect electronic signatures.
In Illinois, candidates that are not endorsed by an established party (i.e. the Democrats or Republicans) are only allowed to collect the signatures they need to get on the ballot for the general election from March 24 through June 22. In addition to this more stringent requirement for third parties, the candidates are also required to get more signatures compared to candidates from the established parties.
Many different U.S. states and the federal government had been issuing recommendations for social distancing several weeks prior to when this lawsuit was filed. The governor issued an order to Illinois residents on March 20 that requires most residents, with a few exceptions for healthcare and other essential workers, to stay home until further notice.
The lawsuit claims that even if the order was lifted in May, this was not the time frame candidates and their campaign parties were working their strategies within and it will not be enough time for them to get the necessary signatures.
The lawsuit is asking to have the signature requirements waived or suspended for this election because, “Requiring in-person contact to satisfy Illinois’ petitioning requirements is not presently possible and will be problematic for weeks to come after emergency measures are lifted.”
The lawsuit names Governor Pritzker and the Illinois State Board of Elections as the defendants in the case. The Governor’s office did not respond to a request for comment. A spokesman for the State Board of Elections said that the board does not have any legal authority or avenues to change state laws.
The Green Party of the United States is an independent political party that is part of a global Green movement. It is a federation of state parties with the Illinois Green Party for Illinois. It believes in grassroots organizing and shares core values with the international movement that includes their Four Pillars: Peace and Non-Violence, Ecological Wisdom, Grassroots Democracy, and Social Justice.
The Libertarian Party is a political party in the United States that promotes civil liberties, non-interventionism, laissez-faire capitalism, and limiting the size and scope of government.