A delayed congressional filing period has come and gone with few problems, but challenges could arise a few weeks from now. Rupert Borgsmiller, executive director of the Illinois State Board of Elections, says the delayed filing period means objections to the petitions are also being taken later – this cycle through Jan. 4. That leaves little time to certify the congressional ballot by Jan. 17.
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“We are currently doing all the objections that were filed from the first filing period,” he says. “There’s really nothing else to say besides when it’s time to get out and vote, get out and vote.” The filing period was pushed back from its original late November date because of a federal lawsuit against the new congressional map. The lawsuit, filed by a Republican group, alleged unfairness and dilution of minority voting power. The federal court decided in favor of the map. There weren’t any major problems, but a few feathers were ruffled.
Rita Maniotis and a small group of supporters were asked to leave the state board of elections building at closing time Tuesday after petitions for their candidate, the Green Party’s Laurel Lambert-Schmidt in the Third District, were denied. “She got over 5 percent of the vote last time in 2010, over 10,000 votes,” Maniotis said. “This time they’re saying she can’t file as an established party candidate, even though she met all the requirements.” The board of elections, and two court decisions, say Lambert-Schmidt is not established in the new Third district. Schmidt gathered 1,315 signatures, but 5,000 are required for a non-established party’s candidate. The Green Party lost its statewide establishment in 2010 when Rich Whitney received less than 5 percent of the popular vote for governor.