The Illinois House has approved a proposal to add protections for voting rights to the Illinois Constitution.
The measure is sponsored by House Speaker Michael Madigan himself.
In explaining why he thinks it's necessary, he recalled the federal Voting Rights Act, and the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision to "modify" parts of that law.
"That modification by the Supreme Court has apparently brought on efforts in other states to enact legislation that some of us would consider to be voter suppression," Madigan says, pointing to voter ID laws.
Republicans, including (from left) Tres. Dan Rutherford's running mate Steve Kim, Sen. Kirk Dillard and Sen. Bill Brady - both of whom are running for governor - stood in line to file their elections paperwork late last year.
Some candidates sent surrogates to file their petitions; others went themselves, including lieutenant governor candidate Steve Kim ( who is GOP Tres. Dan Rutherford's running mate) and Republican gubernatorial candidates Sen. Kirk Dillard of Hinsdale and Sen. Bill Brady of Bloomington.
Candidates looking to run in the March primary began filing their paperwork today (11/25) with the State Board of Elections. Anyone who was in line by 8 a.m. gets a chance at the top spot on the ballot. Six men who want to be Illinois' next governor made that deadline.
Campaigns waited in a long line, despite a forecast of snow, so that they could get their petitions in. Some candidates send staffers as surrogates, including Democratic incumbent Pat Quinn and one of his four Republican challengers, Bruce Rauner.
The scandal that brought down former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich led to campaign-contribution caps in Illinois. Advocates of the limits are fearful a case set to be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday could upend their efforts.
The campaign finance law Illinois politicians passed in 2009 restricts how much cash companies, unions and people can give to individual candidates. Theoretically, you can give that maximum contribution to every state candidate in Illinois.
This week officially kicks off campaign season. Tuesday was the first day candidates could begin collecting signatures to get on the primary ballot. Still some of the leading candidates can't start yet.
In order to get on the ballot, candidates have to prove voters want them there. In the case of Democrats and Republicans running for governor, that means getting signatures from no less than 5,000 and no more than 10,000 members of his party.