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Want to Vote For Bush? Too Bad.

By Margaret Lyons on Jun 4, 2004 9:00PM

2004.06.04.capitol.jpgIt might take a federal court to get President Bush’s name on Illinois ballots this November because the Illinois legislature hasn’t ironed out a wee little problem. In our fine state, to qualify for the November 2 ballot, the state elections board must certify presidential candidates by August 30. But the Republican National Convention runs August 30-September 2 this year, so Bush won’t be the official nominee for the Republican Party until after the deadline. Even though eight other states had similar restrictions, Illinois is the only one whose legislature couldn't get it together to fix the snag.
A bill that would move the deadline to September 15 has stalled because Democrats have added several provisions to the bill that Republicans won’t vote for. Those provisions include: requiring election authorities to accept voter registration in person during the period between the close of regular registration and the 14th day before an election or primary; requiring the Secretary of State and the Departments of Human Services, Public Aid, Children and Family Services, and Employment Services to make voter registration applications available at their offices and facilities; permitting General Assembly members to make voter registration applications available in their district offices; requiring certain State agencies and colleges and universities to include voter registration forms on their websites; and requiring that persons found guilty of felonies to step down from political party offices. (see all of SB 955)
The Illinois General Assembly adjourned on Tuesday, but House Speaker Michael Madigan called them back to the capitol for a one-day session next week. If the legislature can’t work it out, the elections board, the state attorney general or the federal courts can.