Independent & Third Party Candidates Win Ballot Access in U.S. Court

By Benjamin Cox on April 24, 2020 at 12:18pm

Chief U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer provided a big win to 3rd Party and independent candidates wishing to get on the ballot in November. Independent and new party candidates seeking placement on the ballot will be required to submit only 10% of the normal number of nominating signatures and can file petitions six weeks later than originally scheduled under a court order issued yesterday.

The order was in response to a lawsuit by the Libertarian Party of Illinois, the Illinois Green Party and several independent candidates alleging that concerns over COVID-19 didn’t allow them sufficient time to gather signatures to meet the original June 22nd deadline. Under the order, new party and independent candidates will file nominating petitions with the State Board of Elections from July 31st through August 7th. The order allows the Libertarian and Green parties to place state and federal candidates on the November ballot without filing nominating petitions for any offices in which those parties fielded candidates in either the 2016 or 2018 general elections. This means both parties can place candidates for president and U.S. Senate as well as all state Congressional races on the November ballot.

Other independent and new party candidates will be required to submit 10 percent of the statutory signature requirements for offices on the November ballot. The order also drops the requirement that signatures on nominating petitions be original, physical signatures. Petition signers may physically sign a copy of a candidate’s petition, or they may electronically sign their handwritten signatures to the petition using a finger or a device such as a computer mouse or stylus. Photocopies of signatures also will be permitted.

A full slate of candidates from the Libertarian and Green parties has not yet been released.