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  • Writer's pictureOliver Hall

CCD Wins 7th Circuit Appeal in Case Granting Petitioning Relief In Illinois

On August 20, 2020 the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court's order granting relief from petitioning requirements for independent and minor party candidates in Illinois due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This decision paves the way for a more competitive 2020 general election in Illinois, as voters will be free to cast their votes for independents, Greens and Libertarians -- not just Republicans and Democrats. See the background on this case here and here.

Even with the relief the federal courts granted in this case, Illinois' strict ballot access requirements severely limit voter choice. As we argued in a supplemental filing, even if every independent and minor party party candidate who filed nomination petitions in 2020 survives challenges against them, Illinois' state legislative races will have, on average, only 1.7 candidates per race. Congressional races will have, on average, only 2.3 candidates per race, and no race for the U.S. House will have more than 3 candidates.

That is why our ongoing litigation to challenge the constitutionality of restrictive ballot access laws in Illinois and nationwide is so important. For our democracy to function, elections must present voters with real choices -- not preordained outcomes. Far too often the electoral process fails to perform this basic role. Today's decision helps remedy that fundamental system failure and restore power to the people.

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