Thursday, June 03, 2004

The NYC September convention and changing state election law for Bush -- more news

The Chicago Sun-Times in this article and the Illinois Leader in this article cover the election bill manueverings that ended in Senate President Jones not calling the bill in the last late hours of the regular Senate session, so it now must each 36 votes (with three Republican Senators) in order to make it to the Governor.

I think that (a) Democrats have done a pretty bad job of framing this issue, as no part of the story involves placing blame at the Bush campaign's table for trying to exploit the 9/11 tragedy by holding a political rally in New York in September, in clear violation of Illinois state law and (b) Republican Senators are making a mountain out of a molehill in the Democratic-friendly provisions of the election bill, as a grace period for voter registration up to 14 days before the election also helps any Republican campaigns that are actually trying to register new voters (like Judy Baar Topinka is aggressive trying to do) and that the exlcusion of the Department of Natural Resources from the bill's requirement to provide voter registration does not prohibit the Department from going ahead and providing the forms.

I'd like to make a prediction on the passage of this bill, but I thought it would be passed by now. I have to assume that it is now part of the negotiations over the upcoming Big Deal to pass the budget as a chit from the Senate Dems to the Senate GOP. But if the Republicans do go to court and get a federal judge to put Bush on the ballot, then there isn't much reason for three Republican Senators to vote for the thing (if they stick to their apparent perception that Republicans don't need to register new voters!) But, to be fair, I think the other thing driving the Republicans opposition to the bill is a sense that they deserve a vote on just putting Bush on the ballot without any other issues. The only problem with that sense is that the Senate already gave them that clean vote which passed unanimously (much to my chagrin), and Speaker Madigan chose not to call that bill in the House.

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