Burris Likely Won't Be on Special Election Ballot - NBC Chicago
Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Burris Likely Won't Be on Special Election Ballot



    Illinois residents will vote for two Senators this November, and Sen. Roland Burris likely won't be on either of the ballots.

    Gov. Pat Quinn signed paperwork Thursday calling for the special election shortly before lawyers went to court to try to finalize the details of what the ballot will look like.

    Judge John Grady -- once again holding a hearing by conference call due to a recent back surgery -- said he's leaning toward only allowing party primary winners and independent candidates who have already collected 25,000 signatures to be on the ballot.

    That would leave Burris out.  He'd hoped to have been included on the ballot for the Special Election to serve out the final few weeks of the term originally held by Barack Obama.

    Burris was appointed to his post by former Gov. Rod Blagojevich in December, 2008.  And allowing him to serve more than two years without an election is a violation of the U.S. Constitution, a lawsuit alleged.

    Burris' attorney, Tim Wright, said the ruling creates a "financial loophole."

    Democrat Alexi Giannoulias and Republican Mark Kirk could raise money from current maxed-out donors, supposedly for that election, the Huffington Post explained.

    Wright said he wants his day in court to challenge the ruling.

    The winner of the Special Election, to coincide with the General Election on Nov. 2, would be certified within three weeks.  There is some concern about absentee and miltary ballots being counted that quickly.

    In theory, the dual ballots mean that someone could win the Special Election while someone else wins the election for the full six-year term.

    Tom Loppollo from the Illinois Attorney General's Office called the process "inherently confusing," and said he wants the same names for both elections.  He fears some citizens may vote only once if there are different names on the ballot.