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DIGGING DEEPER: Two lawmakers from different sides of the aisle call for ballot access

SPRINGFIELD, Ill (WEEK) – Two lawmakers from opposite sides of the aisle to level the political playing field for candidates across the state running for office.

State Sen. Jason Barickman, R-Bloomington, and State Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, have crafted a plan that would lower the number of signatures required for third parties and independent candidates to get on a statewide or district ballot.

“At the end of the day, I’m one who believes competition is good and we should have more people running for political office. We should encourage that,” said State Sen. Barickman.

Currently, third party or independent candidates that want to run for statewide office, for instance, need to get 25,000 signatures from registered voters; however, Republicans or Democrats only need 5,000. The number of signature requirements can vary depending on the congressional and state elections.

“It’s commonsense that all candidates and political parties should have to clear the same hurdles to secure a spot on the ballot, i have never thought it was fair that some candidates in Illinois have to collect more signatures than others to run for office,” said State Sen. Manar.

Libertarian Party Chair from McLean County, Steve Suess is also impressed

“I love the fact that its bipartisan. i think, that distinguishes it from some of the other similar bills. it’s nice to see politicians from each of those two parties come together for something that would be beneficial to everyone in Illinois.”

State Sen. Barickman says he believes the idea should have bipartisan support and he’s optimistic the bill will advance.

The bill is currently in the senate election sub committee.

Jeff Burnett

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