The Southern Illinoisan, the daily newspaper published in Carbondale, has this editorial condemning Illinois ballot access laws for candidates and also restrictions on the statewide initiative.
Illinois has had bad ballot access laws since 1931, but one gets the impression that there has never before been so much discussion of the ballot access laws in the mainstream press of the state as there is this year. However, generally the newspapers still don’t seem to grasp that the biggest problem for minor party ballot access is that there is no procedure for a group to become a qualified party in advance of any particular election. This is a flaw shared with eleven other states.
If a new party wanted to be on the ballot in Illinois for all partisan office, it would need one petition of 25,000 signatures for its statewide slate, and approximately 250,000 signatures for its nominees for U.S. House, and 250,000 signatures for its nominees for State House, and 250,000 signatures for its slate of county nominees, and a large number (which depends on which year it is in the 10-year cycle between redistricting) for State Senate. Not only is the signature burden crushing, but signers would need to sign six separate petitions, and each sheet would need notarization. By contrast, in 38 states, one petition (or one petition drive) puts the new party’s nominees on the ballot for all office.