Brad Halbrook, candidate for State Representative in the 102nd district, called for changes to Illinois law to ensure timely absentee balloting, especially for overseas military personnel.
“It will surprise no one that Illinois is behind almost every other state in the nation in how we select delegates to the National Conventions,” said Halbrook. “Now, our backward system is threatening the right to vote for those who are serving our country overseas.”
The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) and the MOVE Act require that ballots go out to military personnel 45 days prior to the election. The deadline for the March 15th Primary is Friday, January 29th.
Last week, a number of election authorities discussed delays in absentee voting due to the failure of the State Board of Elections to deal with objections to petitions in a timely fashion.
“Illinois should do what almost every other state does. Have a single presidential primary election without delegates and proportionally allocate delegates based on the statewide vote totals,” said Halbrook. “We have a ballot that is far too long, far too complicated, and now, causing delays for voters.” Republicans in the 102nd District will see at least 50 Delegate and Alternate Delegate candidates on their ballot.
Halbrook also noted that even if County Clerks mailed out ballots to overseas voters before the petition challenges were finalized, they may have to send out amended ballots as well at additional costs and potential confusion.
“Illinois had two different circulating timelines for petitions. The separate timeline for the Presidential candidates and delegates ended later and is a major reason for this delay. This can be fixed easily, and needs to be for the 2020 election.”
Halbrook also asked the State Board of Elections to expedite the objection process. “We have a federal deadline for military voters looming this week. The State Board needs to recognize that deadline and do all they can to speed up the process so that clerks can do their jobs and our soldiers overseas can begin to receive their ballots.”
Reports suggest that the State Board of Elections may not meet to rule on the objections before them until February 11th.