Disenfranchised in DuPage

Greens in DuPage County and throughout most of Illinois are disenfranchised. In Illinois the deck is stacked against a candidate getting on the ballot for partisan races unless that candidate is running as a two party tyranny candidate.  How do the two party tyrants enforce two party rule? One way is by passing laws that require that if a party is not “established” in a voting district, then that party’s candidates are not allowed to be on the Primary Election ballot and are required to gather 10 to 50 times more district registered voter signatures than one of the two corporate party candidates, to get on the General Election ballot. A party is “established” in a voting district if at least one of their candidates received at least 5% of the vote in the last general election

This grossly unfair signature requirement disparity is also imposed on independent candidates.

Ever wonder why our Congress is filled with over 99% big money special interest beholden two party tyrants? Let’s take Illinois Congressional ballot signature requirements as an example.  The two corporate parties passed laws to require that they only need a minimum of around 1,000 signatures to get on the ballot, whereas a “non-established” party or independent candidate is required to get a minimum of around 17,000.

And it gets worse.

Because the two party tyrants will spend money collected from their big money special interest donors to legally challenge their ballot filing, the “non-established” party or independent candidate will need to collect at least a maximum of 25,000 signatures.

How do these undemocratic signature requirement disparities impact the “non-established” candidate?  It takes about one hour of a volunteer’s time to collect 10 signatures, so collecting 1,000 signatures requires about 100 volunteer hours whereas collecting 25,000 signatures requires about 2,500 volunteer hours.

Alternatively political parties sometimes pay petitioners to collect signatures for one to three dollars per signature. Since the Green Party does not accept big money special interest campaign contributions, it’s very difficult to raise the $25,000-$75,000 it would take to pay petitioners for a Congressional race.

And we only have 90 days to collect signatures in snow, rain, or sunshine!

Note that the unfair signature requirement is even higher for a Governor or Presidential candidate.  The minimum is 25,000 meaning we need to to collect at least 37,500 to withstand the inevitable Two Party Tyranny legal challenge.

In Illinois, for many years running, there has been a dearth of candidates, with nearly all Primary Elections uncontested and almost every General Election being uncontested or merely between the two established parties. Since the 2011 redistricting, in the 2012, 2014,
and 2016 Primary Elections for State Representative, 82.6%, 87.3%, and 89.4% of the races had no candidate or only one candidate on the ballot. In the 2012, 2014, and 2016 General Elections for State Representative, 58.5%, 63.6%, and 59.3% were uncontested. In only 1 of those 354 elections did more than two candidates appear on the ballot–in other
words, the ballot was limited to one or both of the two party tyrants in 99.7% of the elections.

And it gets worse.

If a non corporate party candidate manages to get on the ballot, it is extremely difficult to get 5% of the vote, due to the lack of the following reforms:

  • Proportional representation
  • Ranked choice voting
  • Publicly financed elections
  • Inclusion of all candidates on the ballot in debates and media coverage
  • Fairly drawn districts
  • Paper ballots and hand counts
  • Including Election Judges from all parties on the ballot (the two party tyrants have passed abusively undemocratic laws that only allow their party members to be Election Judges)

We fought a revolutionary war to be free of a tyrant and to end taxation without representation.  We now find that we have traded the old tyrant for two new tyrants, and for the vast majority of us who do not agree with either corporate parties’ platforms, we continue to suffer taxation without representation.

Here’s a related article on how absurdly undemocratic two party rule is in Illinois.

But, don’t demoralize…Organize

There are many ways to get involved including:

Finally, since the Green Party is “non-established” in DuPage County and thus locked out of the Primary Election, some DuPage Greens are wondering whether they should vote in one of the two party tyrants’ primaries.  It is up to each individual to make that decision, but here are some things to consider:

  • There is a countywide proposition this Primary Election, so you can request a non-partisan ballot and vote on the countywide proposition and any local propositions.
  • If you voted in the Green Party 2008 and/or 2010 DuPage County Primary Elections and have not voted in a subsequent two party tyranny Primary Election you will retain your Green Party voter registration status.
  • If you request either two party tyranny Primary Election ballot it will be permanently recorded in the public voting records.
  • You can vote for whoever you want in the General Election and your party choices will not be recorded in the public voting records.
  • An alternative would be to volunteer for and/or donate to Illinois Green Party candidates in “established” districts such as in Cook County and the Carbondale area and “non-established” districts such as in Lake County. Here’s a list of Green Party candidates.
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