Lawmakers returned to Springfield Tuesday and plans are underway to adjust the rules for the special election to replace former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.
Gov. Pat Quinn needs legislative approval to move the date of the election from March 19, the tentative date he set Monday, to April 9, a date that would coincide with local general elections.
The changes are part of House Amendment 1 to Senate Bill 338. Included in the bill will be various rules for candidates including number of signatures needed and filing dates. It’s expected to sail through the General Assembly for the governor to sign as early as Thursday.
If the change goes through, candidates can begin circulating petitions next week and file with the State Board of Elections on Jan. 3, 4 or 7. The number of signatures is still being determined but may be 1,000.
Those who want to run as an Independent will have until Feb. 4 to file but they most likely will need between 9,000 and 10,000 signatures.
No doubt there will be challenges to the candidates' signatures, so candidates will need far more than the number required, perhaps double or triple, to make sure their name makes it to the ballot.