Ballot Signature Collection Begins for Illinois’ Third Parties
Third parties in Illinois have started collecting signatures for their candidates ahead of the November election. But in some cases they face long odds to get their longshot picks on the ballot.
The Illinois Green Party did so poorly in the 2010 election, that it lost its established party status. That means before the June deadline its candidates have to collect many more signatures than last time around.
"One example: if you're trying to run for Congress. It's 600 signatures if you are an established party. And 5,000 signatures if you are not an established party," noted Phil Huckleberry, chair of the Illinois Green Party.
Huckleberry called the difference "crippling." But his party is still trying to run candidates in two U.S. House districts and at the same time get more than 25,000 additional signatures for their presidential nominee.
"That's really, really hard," he said. "So it really limits our ability to run a high number of candidates."
Also limiting the Greens' ability: not having a lot of interested candidates. Huckleberry said they're still recruiting, hoping to make some noise in state legislative elections and county races downstate.
The Illinois Libertarian and Constitution parties also hope to get candidates on the ballot this fall.