On December 23, the Illinois Green Party asked the State Supreme Court to hear its appeal in Illinois Green Party v Illinois State Board of Elections. This is the case over the interpretation of the state’s definition of “political party.” The election law says that group that is not a qualified party statewide is still a qualified party within any district or local jurisdiction, if that group got 5% of the vote within that area in the last election.
The Green Party polled over 5% if the vote in November 2010 in four U.S. House districts, and six State House districts. But, the state won’t recognize that the Green Party is still ballot-qualified, because the district boundaries changed this year. On December 22, the State Appeals Court refused any relief to the Green Party, except that it did authorize an expedited appeal to the State Supreme Court. Meanwhile, Green Party member Laurel Lambert Schmidt submitted 1,315 signatures to be on the Green Party primary ballot in the 3rd U.S. House district. If the State Supreme Court rules that the Green Party is still entitled to its own primary in that district, she will appear unopposed on the Green primary ballot. But if the State Supreme Court rules against the party, there will be no primary and all those signatures will have been gathered in vain.
If the Green Party is deemed not to have ballot status in any U.S. House district, it could then submit 5,000 signatures in any district by June 2012, the same as the procedure for any other unqualified party that wants to have a nominee in November for that office.