Vote the Bums Out!
In order for our effort to End the FOID to be successful, we need to be able to inform voters regarding incumbent General Assembly members, their positions on FOID, and their competition. The idea being that anyone not favorable to our cause will be met with an effort from us to end their tenure in the legislative body.
Well, here is the problem: We have no voter choice in MOST of the seats this election!
This election season will see 40 of the Senate’s 59 seats up for grabs, but only 13 (32.5%) of those seats have more than 1 person on the ballot. So the possible change of makeup is only 22%.
And the House
Of course, all 118 seats in the House are up for election every 2 years. That is where the good news ends. This year there are 70 (59.3%) seats facing no opposition, including Michael Madigan’s district.
As you can see from the numbers, it isn’t looking much better in this body.
How did we get here?
Well, the answer is simple, really. The Illinois General Assembly sets the Election Code for the state, and they decided that if you do not have an R or a D by your name, then it should be extremely difficult to get onto the ballot.
So called “Independents” and “New Party” candidates face petition thresholds from 5x to 20x that of the establishment, and will then likely face challenges to their petition filings after that, again from the establishment!
While this post is not necessarily about the pros and cons of additional parties, it is clear enough that the powerful politicians do NOT want competition. They are wielding their power as a means to maintain power. This should be seen as completely disgusting.
Where to go from Here
At this point, we leave the realm of the FOID Act, and move into the election code. Yes, we need term limits, as that would help. But what we also need is a level playing field for ballot access.
If we don’t have choices, we cannot vote people out of office. If there are people out there who might provide us with greater choices, why are they kept away?
The state would have us believe it is to keep from “crowding the ballot.” The ballot is hardly crowded when 61.3% of the positions are running unopposed!
So, in conclusion, I hope you are happy with the Illinois General Assembly. This time next year it will largely look exactly like it does today.
Interview with a Libertarian who opposes the FOID Act: