State Sen. Jason Barickman said Friday that Illinois’ ballot access laws are unfair to new political parties and independent candidates and should be changed.
Barickman is co-sponsoring a bill that would lower the number of signatures required for new political parties and independent candidates to get on the ballot. In 2018, Democratic and Republican candidates 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. Barickman said those should be the same.
“What we want to do is level the playing field, and to say what’s good for Republicans and Democrats is good for other political parties,” said Barickman, a Republican from Bloomington.
Barickman’s co-sponsor is state Sen. Andy Manar, a Democrat from Bunker Hill.
Barickman said it’ll be an uphill battle because “the political leaders of the established parties—Republicans and Democrats—are not gonna like this.”
“They wrote the rules. They created this two-class system where if you’re not one of them, you have a different set of rules. I think that’s very unfair,” Barickman said.
The McLean County Libertarian Party has praised Barickman and Manar for their work on the bill. Strong showings in past elections have earned Libertarians a lower ballot access threshold in McLean County. The result: There were Libertarian candidates in seven of the 10 McLean County Board races last November.
“This is an incredible show of good faith from both Democrats and Republicans,” said McLean County Libertarian Party chair Steve Suess. “This bipartisan effort to help fix our broken electoral process is a step in the right direction for Illinois. It proves that there are still initiatives Democrats and Republicans can accomplish together.”
The legislation is Senate Bill 141.
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