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Love v. Marcin

OPINION FILED MARCH 31, 1977.

BRUCE LOVE ET AL., PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS,

v.

JOHN C. MARCIN ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES. — ALEX S. RALSTON ET AL., PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS,

v.

JOHN C. MARCIN ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES. — LEODIS WESTBROOKS ET AL., PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS,

v.

JOHN C. MARCIN ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. HARRY G. COMERFORD, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE ROMITI DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

The only issue in this case is whether a proposition ballot to prohibit the sale of alcoholic liquor was in proper statutory form where it described the precinct by its legal or proper name. We agree with the trial court that it was, and affirm.

The plaintiffs in these consolidated actions seek to enjoin the election commissioners of the City of Chicago from filing with the Secretary of State of Illinois the reports of three "local option" elections held on April 1, 1975, on the grounds that the ballots listed the precincts only by their legal names and "failed to otherwise describe the precinct(s) in violation of Article IX, Sections 169 and 171." (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 43, pars. 169 and 171.) *fn1 The ballot given to the voters of the 40th precinct of the 29th Ward submitted the proposition as follows:

"Shall the sale at Retail of Alcoholic Liquor be prohibited in this 40th Precinct of the 29th Ward of the City of Chicago?"

At the top of the ballot were the words "For use in Precinct 40, Ward 29 of the City of Chicago." The ballot for Precinct 17 of Ward 6 was identical in format. The ballot for the final precinct stated the proposition as follows:

"Shall the sale at retail of alcoholic liquor containing more than 4% of alcohol by weight except in the original package and not for consumption on the premises be prohibited in the 1st Precinct of the 21st Ward of the City of Chicago?"

As was true with the other two ballots, there was language at the top of the ballot indicating that the ballot was for use in that precinct.

The trial court granted the defendant's motion to strike the complaint, and the plaintiffs appealed.

Section 6, article IX, of the Liquor Control Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 43, par. 171), provides that:

"The clerk with whom a petition is filed shall cause the proposition to be plainly printed upon separate ballots as follows:

------------------------------------------------------------- | Shall the sale at retail of alcoholic | | | | liquor (or alcoholic liquor other | | | | than beer containing not more than | YES | | | 4% of alcohol by weight) (or | | | | alcoholic liquor containing more | | | | than 4% alcohol by weight in the |--------|--------| | original package and not for | | | | consumption on the premises) be | NO | | | prohibited in _____________ | | | | ____________? | | | | | | | -------------------------------------------------------------

Section 1 of that article sets forth what is to be inserted in the blank, stating:

"In the phrase, `Shall the sale at retail of alcoholic liquor (or alcoholic liquor other than beer containing not more than 4% of alcohol by weight) (or alcoholic liquor containing more than 4% of alcohol by weight except in the original package and not for consumption on the premises) be prohibited in ____?' the proper name, whether of a `township', `road district', `precinct', `city', `village' or `incorporated town' shall be understood to be inserted in the blank, and the same shall be inserted in the petitions filed by and the ballots prepared for the voters of any precinct, township, road district, city, village or incorporated town." (Emphasis added.)

It is obvious that the ballots in this case precisely complied with the statutory requirements since the legal designation of the particular precinct was inserted on the ballot. Accordingly, the ballots here complied with the statute and were valid. ...


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