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Libertarian Party of Illinois seeking ballot access from state board of elections, Gov. Pritzker

Libertarian ballot access Illinois
Brian Lambrecht collects petition signatures during a ballot access drive for the Libertarian Party of Illinois. Recent restrictions set forth by Gov. JB Pritzker will make ballot access efforts more difficult (Courtesy photo, DuPage Libertarians)

CHICAGO (Heartland Newsfeed) — The Libertarian Party of Illinois (LPIL) is petitioning the state’s election authority for November’s general election, a press release states Thursday. They’re asking the Illinois State Board of Elections to grant the party ballot access.

The release cites the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak as a result of the March 9 disaster proclamation by Gov. JB Pritzker. Additionally, combined with the Centers for Disease Control recommendations, it makes ballot access petitioning impossible as a result. New political parties, including LPIL, and independents were to start their petitioning campaigns on Tuesday, Mar. 24.

A precedent of Libertarians making the ballot is in danger

“If the request goes unanswered, it will be impossible for Libertarian candidates to attain ballot access in Illinois for 2020 under current law,” states Bill Redpath, LPIL ballot access director, and Libertarian National Committee at-large representative.

“As a party that has had nearly constant success in qualifying for the ballot, we request that the Governor, General Assembly, and the Board of Elections understand the effect this public health emergency has had on people’s willingness to be approached by a stranger, let alone take a pen or clipboard,” Redpath adds.

“Although we believe our petitioners are healthy, and they would be benched at the first sign of illness,” Redpath states. “The virus is apparently often spread by people who are asymptomatic.”

“It creates a lot of frustration when the party has made the ballot every single time,” states Jake Leonard, LPIL political director. “It’s more infuriating when our efforts are under delay by inaction and selfishness of the General Assembly, Gov. Pritzker, and our election authority.”

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Libertarian candidates in suspended status regarding their campaigns

LPIL has been an active political party in the state since its founding in 1971. They have run candidates for office, lobbied the General Assembly and held outreach events. As a result, it has established regular participation in the democratic process.

Recently, LPIL nominated Danny Malouf as their nominee for U.S. Senate at their state convention in East Peoria. Additionally, LPIL chair Bennett Morris states that candidates for seats in the U.S. House and General Assembly were also chosen at the convention.

“At the LPIL convention on March 14, we nominated candidates for all 18 congressional districts. Each of those candidates would need to circulate a separate petition to attain ballot access in 2020,” Morris stated.

Moreover, the party is requesting the courtesy of those governing organizations to reply no later than March 24, the day petitioning starts.

The release comes three days after the Illinois Green Party published its press release Monday on the same issue.

As a result, letters from Morris and Libertarian National Committee executive director Daniel Fishman were sent to the Chicago and Springfield offices of Gov. Pritzker and the board of elections.

Libertarian Party of Illinois Petitioning Relief

Cox is a broadcast media and journalism veteran currently working as news director for WLDS/WEAI in Jacksonville, Ill. He is also chairman of the Morgan County Libertarian Party.

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