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Preuter v. State Officers Electoral Board

October 25, 2002

MICHAEL H. PREUTER, MARIANNE KING AND RONALD J. LUNDIN, OBJECTORS-APPELLANTS.
v.
STATE OFFICERS ELECTORAL BOARD, AND STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS FOR THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, ELAINE ROUPAS, WANDA REDNOUR, DAVID MURRAY, JOHN KEITH, PHILIP O'CONNOR, WILLIAM MCGUFFAGE, JESSE SMART, ALBERT PORTER, MEMBERS, RONALD D. MICHAELSON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, AND CHANDLER HADRABA, STEVE DUBOVIK AND JOHN TEPLEY, CANDIDATES, DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES.



APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY. HONORABLE MARCIA MARAS, JUDGE PRESIDING.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Presiding Justice Campbell

UNPUBLISHED

Objectors Michael H. Preuter, Marianne King and Ronald J. Lundin appeal an order of the circuit court of Cook County reversing decisions of the State Board of Elections for the State of Illinois (Board), sitting as the State Officers Electoral Board (SOEB), *fn1 sustaining objections to the candidacies of Chandler Hadraba, Steve Dubovik and John Tepley (Candidates) for State Representative from the 48th, 95th and 41st Representative Districts, respectively. This court granted the Objectors' motion to accelerate the appeal. *fn2 For the reasons which follow, we affirm the circuit court.

The background of this appeal, as disclosed by the record and relevant statutory law, is as follows. In the general election held in 2000, Elizabeth Quaintance, a Libertarian candidate, received over 26 percent of the vote for State Representative in the 39th Representative District. Section 10-2 of the Election Act provides in relevant part as follows:

"The term 'political party', as hereinafter used in this Article 10, shall mean any 'established political party', as hereinafter defined and shall also mean any political group which shall hereafter undertake to form an established political party in the manner provided for in this Article 10 ***.

A political party which, at the last general election for State and county officers, polled for its candidate for Governor more than 5% of the entire vote cast for Governor, is hereby declared to be an 'established political party' as to the State and as to any district or political subdivision thereof.

A political party which, at the last election in any congressional district, legislative district, county, township, municipality or other political subdivision or district in the State, polled more than 5% of the entire vote cast within such territorial area or political subdivision, as the case may be, has voted as a unit for the election of officers to serve the respective territorial area of such district or political subdivision, is hereby declared to be an 'established political party' within the meaning of this Article as to such district or political subdivision.

Any group of persons hereafter desiring to form a new political party throughout the State, or in any congressional, legislative or judicial district, or in any other district or in any political subdivision (other than a municipality) not entirely within a single county, shall file with the State Board of Elections a petition, as hereinafter provided; and any such group of persons hereafter desiring to form a new political party within any county shall file such petition with the county clerk; and any such group of persons hereafter desiring to form a new political party within any municipality or township or within any district of a unit of local government other than a county shall file such petition with the local election official or Board of Election Commissioners of such municipality, township or other unit of local government, as the case may be. Any such petition for the formation of a new political party throughout the State, or in any such district or political subdivision, as the case may be, shall declare as concisely as may be the intention of the signers thereof to form such new political party in the State, or in such district or political subdivision; shall state in not more than 5 words the name of such new political party; shall at the time of filing contain a complete list of candidates of such party for all offices to be filled in the State, or such district or political subdivision as the case may be, at the next ensuing election then to be held; and, if such new political party shall be formed for the entire State, shall be signed by 1% of the number of voters who voted at the next preceding Statewide general election or 25,000 qualified voters, whichever is less. If such new political party shall be formed for any district or political subdivision less than the entire State, such petition shall be signed by qualified voters equaling in number not less than 5% of the number of voters who voted at the next preceding regular election in such district or political subdivision in which such district or political subdivision voted as a unit for the election of officers to serve its respective territorial area. However, whenever the minimum signature requirement for a district or political subdivision new political party petition shall exceed the minimum number of signatures for State-wide new political party petitions at the next preceding State-wide general election, such State-wide petition signature requirement shall be the minimum for such district or political subdivision new political party petition.

For the first election following a redistricting of congressional districts, a petition to form a new political party in a congressional district shall be signed by at least 5,000 qualified voters of the congressional district. For the first election following a redistricting of legislative districts, a petition to form a new political party in a legislative district shall be signed by at least 3,000 qualified voters of the legislative district. For the first election following a redistricting of representative districts, a petition to form a new political party in a representative district shall be signed by at least 1,500 qualified voters of the representative district.

***

The filing of such petition shall constitute the political group a new political party, for the purpose only of placing upon the ballot at such next ensuing election such list or an adjusted list in accordance with Section 10-11, of party candidates for offices to be voted for throughout the State, or for offices to be voted for in such district or political subdivision less than the State, as the case may be, under the name of and as the candidates of such new political party.

If, at such ensuing election, the new political party's candidate for Governor shall receive more than 5% of the entire votes cast for Governor, then such new political party shall become an 'established political party' as to the State and as to every district or political subdivision thereof. If, at such ensuing election, the other candidates of the new political party, or any other candidate or candidates of the new political party shall receive more than 5% of all the votes cast for the office or offices for which they were candidates at such election, in the State, or in any district or political subdivision, as the case may be, then and in that event, such new political party shall become an 'established political party' within the State or within such district or political subdivision less than the State, as the case may be, in which such candidate or candidates received more than 5% of the votes cast for the office or offices for which they were candidates. It shall thereafter nominate its candidates for public offices to be filled in the State, or such district or political subdivision, as the case may be, under the provisions of the laws regulating the nomination of candidates of established political parties at primary elections and political party conventions, as now or hereafter in force.

A political party which continues to receive for its candidate for Governor more than 5% of the entire vote cast for Governor, shall remain an 'established political party' as to the State and as to every district or political subdivision thereof. But if the political party's candidate for Governor fails to receive more than 5% of the entire vote cast for Governor, or if the political party does not nominate a candidate for Governor, the political party shall remain an 'established political party' within the State or within such district or political subdivision less than the State, as the case may be, only so long as, and only in those districts or political subdivisions in which, the candidates of that political party, or any candidate or candidates of that political party, continue to receive more than 5% of all the votes cast for the office or offices for which they were candidates at succeeding general or consolidated elections within the State or within any district or political subdivision, as the case may be.

Any such petition shall be filed at the same time and shall be subject to the same requirements and to the same provisions in respect to objections thereto and to any hearing or hearings upon such objections that are hereinafter in this Article 10 contained in regard to the nomination of any other candidate or candidates by petition ***." 10 ILCS 5/10-2 (West 2000).

Section 8-17 of the Election Code addresses the nomination procedures for various types of vacancies, stating in part as follows:

"The death of any candidate prior to, or on, the date of the primary shall not affect the canvass of the ballots. If the result of such canvass discloses that such candidate, if he had lived, would have been ...


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