Monday, February 28, 2005

David Orr's office working on a good election reform bill

In today's Tribune, David Orr's got a good column here on the problems of these local electoral boards. I've practiced before them. Some of them are fair-minded (maybe most of them), but when they want to railroad a candidate off the ballot, it's harder to think of an adjudicative structure that's designed more efficiently to do that than the local electoral boards.

Two bills would abolish these local electoral boards. Senator Martin Sandoval's (D-Chicago) SB 204 and Representative Robin Kelly's (D-Matteson) HB 2416 would get the job done and let the county officers electoral board handle disputes. HB 2416 was assigned to a substantive committee, not sent to the Executive Committee, so that's a good sign for its passage.

The Election Law Committee of the Chicago Bar Association (of which I am a member) has voted to support this bill, and I think the Association's lobbyist, Larry Suffredin (also a reform County Board member -- check out www.suffredin.org), will weigh in on the bill.

1 comment:

Vasyl said...

I agree, it's a good bill. It seems that electoral boards for local offices are divided into two categories: ones that are constantly busy with challenges, and thus overtly political; or electoral boards that are inexperienced because they have never dealt with a challenge. In both cases, you end up with poor results. It simply makes sense to allow an experienced electoral board to deal with the challenges, even if it makes it a bit more inconvenient for candidates and objectors to travel to the county seat.