Illinois Term Limit Initiative Has Enough Signatures for a Ballot Vote

June 3, 2014

State elections officials said today that a preliminary review of the paperwork shows that a constitutional amendment on legislative term limits backed by Republican governor nominee Bruce Rauner should have enough signatures to be eligible for the Nov. 4 ballot. To get on the fall ballot, the Committee for Legislative Reform and Term Limits needs almost 300,000 valid signatures from registered voters. A random sample of 5 percent of signatures, conducted by the staff of the State Board of Elections, determined it had a likely minimum of 333,164 unique valid signatures.

The board’s staff will submit its findings to the state elections board, which could order another review or determine it eligible for the ballot, said Rupert Borgsmiller, the agency’s executive director.

The ballot question seeks to limit lawmakers to a total of eight years in office, increase the size of the 118-member House to 123 members and reduce the size of the 59-member Senate to 41 and impose a two-thirds vote of lawmakers to overturn a governor’s veto compared to the current three-fifths requirement.

Those changes are an effort to comply with the limited window for using petition initiative attempts to change the 1970 state constitution. Such initiatives must affect both the structure and procedure of the General Assembly to be eligible for the ballot.

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