IML Sues State Board of Elections Over Election Day Holiday

By Benjamin Cox on July 30, 2020 at 10:10am

The Illinois Municipal League has filed a lawsuit in Sangamon County Court about Election Day being declared a state holiday. The lawsuit questions if a bill passed by the General Assembly in May that made various changes to elections this year due to COVID-19 effects local units of government. The lawsuit contends that the bill only amended the School Code and the State Universities Civil Service Act. It did not specifically mention the Municipal Code which governs Illinois cities.

The lawsuit court documents say that the Illinois Municipal League asked the Illinois State Board of Elections and lawmakers who sponsored the bill for clarification, but didn’t receive an answer. The lawsuit says that requiring all municipalities to close on Election Day would be an “unfunded mandate with unintended implications on municipal operations, personnel and collective bargaining agreements.”

IML Executive Director Brad Cole told the State Journal Register that some employees would have to be paid holiday wages if they work. The lawsuit also says local officials could expose themselves to risk of arrest if offices close on election day when they shouldn’t.

Joining IML in the lawsuit as plaintiffs are the suburban cites of Bolingbrook and Southern View, who have said that their municipal offices will remain open on Election Day.