Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Turnout for Municipal & Township Primaries Could Be Immense

When I heard that U.S. Senator Dick Durbin's suggestion that the Illinois General Assembly hold a special election to replace President-Elect Barack Obama, I thought it was an interesting idea.

Certainly, very few think Governor Rod

"Let's Make a Deal"
Blagojevich should be allowed to be the only one with a say.

Then, watching a couple of hours of news programs last night, I figured out that the idea was gaining steam.

But, there are other possibilities and immense implications for local February primary elections.

House Speaker Mike Madigan seems to have signed on to a spring primary and general election, as have Senate Democratic Party leaders.

And Illinois Republican Party Chairman Andy McKenna expressed his support as well.

Sounds almost like a done deal, except for Governor Rod Blagojevich, and his opinion pretty much doesn't count anymore.

Any veto would be overridden, if there is a consensus among legislators.

There are other possibilities, of course.

Before the William Lorimer (R-Summer Home in Crystal Lake) scandal, members of the Illinois General Assembly made the appointment. They appointed Stephan A. Douglas over Abraham Lincoln after the legislative elections in 1858, for instance.

But after the Lorimer scandal in the early 1910's, Congress passed and state legislators ratified a constitutional amendment requiring direct election of U.S. Senators.

The General Assembly might be able to take back that power for interim appointments or allow the governor to nominate, but require State Senate confirmation or enact some other scheme.

If they took back the power themselves, then a present day Lorimer could bribe Democratic Party House members the way Republican Lorimer did in 1909. Or vice versa.

The logical dates for a primary election would be the same date as the township and municipal primary elections on February 24, 2009. Likewise, with a United States Senator's seat at stake, the April 7th local elections, including the five McHenry County Republican Party primaries, would have a much higher turnout.

= = = = =
The luminary seen above in Illinois Republican Party Chairman Andy McKenna. Disgraced Republican U.S. Senator William Lorimer is seen in the black and white photo. His Crystal Lake summer home across from Crystal Lake's Main Beach is near the bottom of the article.

Published first on McHenry County Blog.


Impeach Rod and stop professional politicians,  7:18 PM  

A Veteran and Firefighter
Vietnam era Marine
and son in Afghanistan
Non politician

fedup dem 9:03 AM  

It should be noted that there are some logistical problems in the proposal to hold a special election for the unexpired portion of Barack Obama's Senate term, which need to be addressed before the General Assembly acts.

Any act to require a special election would (like any other proposed law) have to go to he Governor for his signature. The Illinois Constitution gives Gov. Sleazy 60 days to decide if he wishes to sign or veto the measure. This would wipe out any chance of a first round of voting being held in conjunction with municipal primaries on February 24 and could even prevent the race from appearing on the April 7 ballot.

As for the February 24 election, only a limited number of communities conduct elections that day (as most municipalities do not have traditional partisan primary elections). I believe that here in Cook County only about five of the county's suburbs will have balloting that day.

As for the April 7 elections, the big headache there is Chicago, the only community in the state where elections are not being held (thus one-fourth of the state's precincts were not scheduled to hold elections). Who pays for the added cost of holding one or two added elections? Usually you are among the first to scream about additional government spending!

it should also be noted that the filing deadline for local candidates running for offices to appear on the February 24 local ballots is this coming Monday, a day before any plan to require a special election can get through the General Assembly. All of these matters would have to dealt with. I think it is much easier to simply impeach and remove Blagojevichm and let Pat Quinn make a sound appointment.

Cal Skinner 11:13 AM  

Non-partisan cities also have primaries, but, because of a recent change in the law, there have to be more than 4 times the number of candidates for an office for a primary to kick in.

I think it unlikely that will occur.

The deadline, of course, could be shortened.

As for my thoughts on forcing Chicago to spend money it otherwise would not spend, I didn't make the suggestion for a special election, Democrat Dick Durbin did. (At least his was the first call for it I heard.)

Maybe we should take the approach that a couple of states in the South did to keep blacks from getting elected to office: everyone runs in one big election and, if no one gets a majority, there is a run-off of the top two.

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