Ballot Box 350SPRINGFIELD – Two state senators are embarking on a bipartisan effort to level the playing field for new political parties and independent candidates in Illinois.

State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) and State Senator Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington) have introduced a plan that lowers the number of signatures required for new political parties and independent candidates to be on the ballot. They would need the same number of signatures that is required for established political parties to be on the ballot under the proposal.

“It’s commonsense that all candidates and political parties should have to clear the same hurdles to secure a spot on the ballot,” Manar said. “I have never thought it was fair that some candidates in Illinois have to collect more signatures than others to run for office.”

For example, in 2018, candidates with established political parties were required to collect between 5,000 and 10,000 signatures to run for statewide office, but independent candidates and those with new parties had to collect 25,000.

Senate Bill 141 is a matter of fairness, Barickman said.

“Competitive elections make for a stronger democracy, and I think reducing some of the hurdles for candidates to participate is a good step in that direction,” Barickman said. “I believe this is an idea that should receive bipartisan support and I’m optimistic that we will be able to advance this legislation.”

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