February 19th, 2020
NTUI Blasts Illinois Republicans for Wasting Taxpayer Money on Petition-Challenge Schemes
Illinois Republicans should stop trying to throw candidates off the ballot for purely selfish reasons, resulting in disenfranchisement of voters and waste of taxpayer dollars, said Jim Tobin, President of National Taxpayers United of Illinois (NTUI). He called for Illinois Republicans to be fiscally responsible with their petition challenge efforts this year.
“The Illinois GOP is going to try to kick candidates off the ballot to their own political advantage and at a great cost to Illinois taxpayers,” said Tobin. “These private petition challenges tie up election offices and their entire staffs for many weeks.”
The Cook County Republican Party recently put out an e-mail call for volunteers to work on petition challenges designed to kick political competition off the ballot: “The Illinois GOP is diverting all efforts to challenge those candidates’ petitions that may have a negative impact on OUR Republican nominees (it is our belief that these candidates will steal votes from Republicans.)”
Just one petition challenge to one statewide candidate’s petitions can last for 4 weeks, tying up a handful of government employees five days a week and eight hours a day during that one challenge. This involves going through each signature and comparing it with voter registration records.
“The Republicans are rallying volunteers to kick people off the ballot. Rather, let’s see them rally their supporters to change these antiquated and inefficient election laws.”
“Many states have instituted a filing fee system for candidates to get on the ballot, and that’s what should be done in Illinois,” said Tobin. “Instead of wasting money every two years with our current rigged system that favors incumbents, the state needs to start using this opportunity to bring in some revenue. Charlie Crist in Florida only had to pay a $10,000 filing fee to run for US Senate as an independent.”
“Cook County Republicans should embrace reforms that will bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars instead of embracing the petition challenges that currently waste small fortunes for political ends,” said Tobin.
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