In Illinois, it is common for many small cities to have partisan elections, which are contested only by local political parties. Lyons, Illinois, in Cook County, has partisan elections for its own officers in odd year. At the April 2011 election, the contest was between the United Citizens Party and the Most Valuable Party. The press commonly refers to these two parties by their acronyms, UCP and MVP.
The MVP candidates’ petition in this year’s election was challenged, because the MVP candidates for Village Trustee filled out a declaration of candidacy on a form that was intended to be used only by independent candidates. The UCP challenged the ballot status of the MVP candidates, and the local election board removed the MVP candidates from the ballot. A local court upheld that decision. However, the Illinois State Appeals Court reversed the decision, and put the MVP candidates on the ballot. The decision is Lyons MVP Party v Electoral Board, 945 NE 2d 1175.
One of the three MVP candidates for Village Trustee, Patricia Krueger, then won the election, something she probably could not have done if the appeals court had not restored her to the ballot. This is an example of how overly-stringent ballot access laws can actually prevent the voters from electing the person they wish to elect.