New Legislation Requires Referendum Petitions And Candidate Nomination Papers To Be Filed, And Referendum Resolutions To Be Approved, Earlier Than In The Past

July 12, 2010

By: Alan M. Mullins

On July 6, 2010, the Governor signed into law legislation amending the Illinois Election Code.  The legislation changes the deadlines for voters to file petitions proposing referenda and for boards of education to approve resolutions proposing referenda.  The legislation also changes the period for school board candidates to file their nomination papers.  Those actions must now occur significantly earlier before the election than in the past.

Previously, voters had to file petitions proposing referenda at least 70 days before the election.  Those petitions must now be filed at least 92 days before the election.  School boards had 65 days prior to an election to approve resolutions proposing referenda.  They now must approve those resolutions at least 79 days before the election.  Last, school board candidates previously had to file their nomination papers between 78 and 71 days before the election.  Now they must file their nomination papers between 113 and 106 days before the election.

The following list identifies the dates by which petitions and nomination papers have to be filed, and resolutions have to be approved, for the next three elections.

November 2, 2010 Election
  •     Voters referendum petition - Monday, August 2, 2010.
  •     Board referendum resolution - Sunday, August 15, 2010 (extended to Monday, August 16, 2010).
February 22, 2011 Election
  •     Voters referendum petition - Monday, November 22, 2010.
  •     Board referendum resolution - Sunday, December 5, 2010 (extended to Monday, December 6, 2010).
April 5, 2011 Election 
  •     Voters referendum petition - Monday, January 3, 2011.
  •     Board referendum resolution - Sunday, January 16, 2011 (extended to Tuesday, January 18,     2011 due to Martin Luther King Day).

Nomination papers for school board candidates must be filed starting on Monday, December 13,2010 and ending on Monday, December 20, 2010.

Other than on legal school holidays, the district must have someone at the district office during normal business hours (except for December 20, 2010 when the office must remain open until 5:00 p.m.) to accept petitions, even if the dates above fall within Winter Break.

If you have any questions regarding the dates discussed above or the election process, please contact Alan Mullins at (312)565-3100, ext. 236.