Justice Party, Socialist Party, Constitution Party Presidential Petitions in Illinois are Challenged

Late in the afternoon of July 2, challenges were filed against the presidential petitions of the Justice, Socialist, and Constitution Party petitions, along with a challenge to Michael W. Hawkins’ presidential petition, which uses the party label “Together Enhancing America.” No challenge appears to have been filed against the Libertarian petition or the Green petition. Challenges had to be in the office of the State Board of Elections by 5 p.m. Illinois time on July 2. The State Board of Elections does a good job of posting challenges very soon after they are filed, so the Libertarians and Greens seem safe, for president.

The challenges to the Justice, Socialist and Constitution Party presidential petitions will have the effect of removing those parties from the ballot, since those petitions did not have as many as 25,000 signatures. Illinois is the only state in which any petition will work to place someone on the ballot if no one challenges.


  1. Wow, somebody dodged a bullet!

  2. Curt Boyd · · Reply

    Boo. The more choices, the better.

  3. William Saturn · · Reply

    who did this?

  4. Richard Winger · · Reply

    #3, the same person challenged all four presidential petitions. He is Robert I. Sherman, who lives in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago.

  5. Jim Ivey · · Reply

    Objections linked from the candidate listing on the IL DoE website: http://goo.gl/pRi0z. Just click any candidate’s name that has “(Obj. Pending)” below it.

    Looks like they were all filed by the same person.

  6. Cody Quirk · · Reply

    Figures. But there will be a challenge to the LP petition, I guarantee it.

  7. Just Sayin' · · Reply

    Correction – Rocky Anderson filed as an independent candidate, not a “new party” (ie Justice) candidate. Still needs 25k signatures, under Illinois law.

    The four that were challenged didn’t bother to even try, let alone be serious in their nomination papers.

    Here’s the signature counts:

    (a) Stewart Alexander (Socialists)- 1 signature
    (b) Michael Hawkins (Together Enhancing America) – 1 signature (but he did submit 5 blank pages)
    (c) Rocky Anderson (Independent) – 2 signatures
    (d) Virgil Goode (Constitution) – approx 200 to 300 signatures (35 pages, 10 lines/page)
    (e) Lex Green (Libertarians)* – more than enough, submitted 3,341 pages (15 lines pages)
    * no objection filed

    There were other defects (besides lame signature effort) in the papers for (a) – (d), such as forgetting a statements of candidacy, not including electors, or enough electors,

    It’s just a matter of candidate “seriousness.” Libertarian Party worked hard, and it shows, serious contenders with over 40k signatures!!!

  8. GreenGenes · · Reply

    Richard, NYS Board of Elections does only a prima facie scan of the petitions and does not check signature count either unless challenged. Basically if the petition seems weighty enough that it might have enough signatures, they don’t check further. NYS BOE Commissioners live stream their meetings so the public can even watch the discussion come up as they talk about the clerk’s report when this occurs.

  9. Just Sayin' · · Reply

    City of Chicago (Dem. stronghold) and DuPage County, Illinois (GOP stronghold) both do apparent conformity checks, and will strike candidates’ nominating petitions that do not have enough signatures, or missing a statement of economic interests, or statement of candidacy, or some other very apparent and fatal defect (eg page numbering).

    Chicago got rid of a few mayoral candidates last election through “apparent conformity” checks. All four of the above candidates would not survive an apparent conformity check, even a visual, from ten feet away… ie simply not enough sheets of paper.

  10. Common Tater · · Reply


    Deadline for that past.

  11. Richard Winger · · Reply

    #7, that wasn’t true in New York in 2008. The Constitution Party was not challenged in New York state, and had submitted fewer signatures than the 15,000 mentioned in state law. But the State Board of Elections removed it anyway, because the petition was under 15,000 raw signatures.

  12. Richard, if these challenges wind up taking place/succeeding, will the parties removed face any financial obligations (like paying for the cost of the challenge)?

    If not, I don’t see why more parties don’t/haven’t in the past submitted a handful of signatures to try & qualify in Illinois. It seems like it would be worth a shot to secure a spot on the ballot in such a large state.

  13. Nick Kruse · · Reply

    @12, Illinois is not like Pennsylvania. The only costs a party might have is if they choose to try to defend their petitions. If they choose to let the objection stand, there is no cost.

  14. Raymond · · Reply

    The guy who challenged the petitions was an Obama supporter I bet.

  15. I’m wondering if the guy who challenged is a supporter of the Green or Libertarian parties and are hoping by removing these people the LP or GP will benefit more as a result come November.

  16. Nick Kruse · · Reply

    To Richard Winger (and anyone else interested):

    The man who filed the four objections is Rob Sherman. Here is his website: http://www.robsherman.com/information/aboutrob.htm . He is a liberal activist and works for “the civil rights of atheists, state/church separation and the need for lap/shoulder seat belts on school busses.”

    He was the Green Party nominee for state representative in the 53rd Illinois district in 2008. He is now the chairman of the Cook County Green Party (Cook County is the one with Chicago).

  17. Michael Cavlan RN · · Reply

    So- the Green Party Chair is the person who challenged Rocky Anderson and the rest?

    Good to know. No matter. The Green Party have already had their name tarnished so badly, this will only add to it.

  18. Nick Kruse · · Reply

    @17, There is no proof that he was told by the national green party to challenge the petitions. In Illinois, anyone can almost appoint themselves to the position of a county chairman for a third party. I doubt he had any competition for that position.

  19. Tom Yager · · Reply

    He was most certainly not told to do so by the national Green Party.

  20. Michael Cavlan RN · · Reply

    In Illinois almost anyone can anoint themselves chair of a third party? Not true. They have to be elected to that position by membership of said party. Unless of course he is the only member of the Illinois Green Party in Cooke County. The most populous county in Illinois. Sames goes with his being endorsed by the Greens. Some rich guy who goes to floats in his Hummer. Not to forget his nice single engine airplane. This could explain how Jill Stein got her matching funds.

    The Greens are the party for well heeled liberal environmentalists. Just like the liberal Democrats. Ordinary working stiffs? Not so much.

    As an aside, I have heard that the national third party coalition that was going to attend the GP Convention in Baltimore may walk out of there in protest.

    This has become a PR nightmare for the Greens. Who will respond with their usual denial of silence.

  21. Tom Yager · · Reply

    #20 Jill Stein and her campaign worked hard to get matching funds. Only the first $250 of a donation can be matched, so one donor can’t get a candidate even close. She reached over $5,000 in small donations in 22 states and should receive at least $187,000 from the FEC.

  22. […] Richard Winger reported July 2 on Ballot Access News, the presidential petitions in Illinois for the Justice, Socialist, […]

  23. Rob Sherman has posted on July 7th that it WAS the Cook County Green Party that filed the challenges, not Sherman or Andy Finko as individuals. Sherman is Chair of the CCGP. Sherman has also added hisown additional “requirements” for people who want to run and be on the ballot. These are not part of the official election law, but Sherman’s own personal “law”.

    “The Cook County Green Party is very proud of its decision to file these ballot access challenges. If somebody wants to run for President, that person needs toeither demonstrate a modicum of support by obtaining a reasonable number of nominating petition signatures, or run as a write-in candidate, which doesn’t
    require any nominating petition signatures. The Cook County Green Party does not, and will not, condone somebody having his name listed on the ballot as a
    candidate for President if that person has not obtained a reasonable number of nominating petition signatures.

    The public can trust the Cook County Green Party to continue to provide leadership on ethical and political issues.”

    Rob, who the hell elected you to decide who to “condone” or who not to “condone” as a candidate for office? You are totally going against the Green Party Platform on Electoral Reform.

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