Illinois State Board of Elections Will Hear Objections to Four Presidential Candidates' Ballot Access on July 23

On July 23, the Illinois State Board of Elections will hear Rob Sherman’s objections to the ballot status of Virgil Goode, Rocky Anderson, Stewart Alexander, and Michael Hawkins. Sherman is free to withdraw his objections to their petitions at any time up until July 23. Sherman challenged the petitions because they lack enough signatures, but in Illinois, candidates who file a petition with a smaller number of signatures than the legal requirement still go on the ballot, if no one challenges.

Virgil Goode is the Constitution Party nominee. In 2008 the Illinois Constitution Party filed a petition with only a small amount of signatures on it for President, but no one challenged, so the party’s 2008 presidential nominee, Chuck Baldwin, appeared on the November ballot. Rocky Anderson is the Justice Party nominee; Stewart Alexander is the Socialist Party nominee; Michael Hawkins is an independent candidate using the label “Together Enhancing America.”

Here is a news story about the challenge, which focuses on the fact that Sherman is chair of the Cook County Green Party.


  1. So otherwise the two main parties don’t have to collect any signatures?

  2. Richard Winger · · Reply

    Candidates running in the primary of a ballot-qualified party must submit a petition in Illinois. The same rule applies to them…any petition is valid, no matter how few signatures it has, unless someone challenges.

  3. PayBack Rule · · Reply

    Does the IL GP plan on replacing Howie Hawkins with Cheri Honkala? If so, they’ll be opening themselves up again to a potential petition challenge. The Illinois Greens aren’t even half as clever as they think they are. If they don’t try to replace Hawkins, then the Greens are committing the exact same type of “electorate fraud” that Rob Sherman claims of others in that linked article.

    Dave, Ds and Rs need 5,000 sigs to be on the primary ballot for statewide offices, or 3,000 for President. In a few special cases, the Ds and Rs do not need more than one signature to be on the ballot. Sheila Simon and Alan Keyes are two recent examples of statewide candidates not needing to petition in order to be slated on the general election ballot. Richard is correct that the same rule applies to all, that a petition filed is valid unless someone challenges it.

    Sherman and the Greens can yell “fraud” all they want but it doesn’t make their statement true or honest. It just shows the Illinois Greens are elitists who think are better than others and probably could benefit from some major blowback on this despicable action of theirs.

  4. Is it just that we hear more about 3rd party challenges then the two party challenges. I’m sure the Democrats and Republicans must get challenged as well. Os otherwise Joe Blow can file a challenge.

  5. In Illinois, and most states I believe, the time to challenge Rep/Dem petitions is well before the primary. Once the primary is over, the two parties’ nominees don’t need any signatures. They’re automatically put on the General Election ballot. If they drop out, the party boss gets to hand-pick a replacement candidate. Also, in Illinois Dems and Reps need 3k or 5k signatures (per above comment). Independents and third party Presidential candidates need 25k signatures. That’s why third parties don’t challenge each other’s petitions. It’s hard enough getting on the ballot as it is, without fellow opposition parties challenging. And FYI, Rob Sherman is only Chair of the Cook County Green Party and the vast majority of the GP seems to outraged and against his actions. As a bit of background, Sherman is also the atheist who keeps sueing to get God out of everything. – Whiteout Press, Chicago, IL –

  6. It is very sad to see third parties working against each other. Don’t we have enough resistance from the duopoly? Shame on Rob Sherman for impeding democracy this way. This type of behavior reflects badly on the Green party. I am currently supporting Rocky Anderson. Anything can happen between now and the election. If for any reason, Rocky were not to run (God forbid) I would throw my vote to another candidate not associated with the Green Party. I will not support this kind of back biting among third parties. I am registered as No Party Preference in California (aka Independent) and I have the freedom to choose which candidate I will endorse. Too bad Dr. Jill Stein hasn’t come out against Rob Sherman’s behavior. She has lost any support I might have wanted to send her direction.

    Those of us that are awake enough to realize the harm the duopoly is causing this country need to work together to create a force to be reckoned with.

  7. Scott Campbell · · Reply

    I too am another Rocky Anderson/Justice Party supporter that had very warm feelings for Jill as an alternative to Rocky. I have tweeted at her campaign and not gotten a reply as to why Jill has not come out and publicly censured Rob Sherman. Is she not wise enough to understand the old Ben Franlin quote – “We must hang together, gentlemen…else, we shall most assuredly hang separately.” Third parties have to build coalition if we want to stop being third parties.

  8. Craig M. · · Reply

    Imagine 25 to 35 years ago a child playing in the yard dreaming of growing up to be a fireman, a police officer, a doctor, or perhaps a sports star, winning the game on a last-second shot or touchdown. Hopes and dreams running wild. The endless possibilities. Then growing up to challenge petitions so that voters have the same old choices as usual.

  9. The prior post is wrong about Jill Stein regarding the challenges in Illinois. Jill has voiced her opposition to the challenges and has asked Cook County Green party Chair Rob Sherman to withdraw his challenges.

    While the vast majority of Greens around the country oppose what Sherman did, a vocal segment of the Illinois Green Party supports Sherman and oppose withdrawing the challenges. They believe only minor parties that put in an “effort” deserve to be on the ballot and since the GP claims they got over 25,000 signatures and the others didn’t, only the GP deserves ballot access. The Libertarian Party claims it got over 40,000 signatures. Wonder if the feel the Greens made an “effort”.

    “Effort” is not part of the Illinois election code nor is it defined anywhere who decides what “effort” is enough and what isn’t. When it comes to petitions there is no difference in getting 1, 10, 200, 3000 or 24,000 signatures if you are challenged. All are under the requirement of 25,000 valid signatures. So does it make sense to waste many hours to get a few hundred signatures when 1 signature will do?

  10. John Rey · · Reply

    In response to #9: I am Secretary of the Bronx County Green Party in New York. I call upon Jill Stein to publicly do what #9 claims that she has already done (apparently privately), namely: “[voice] her opposition to the challenges and [ask] Cook County Green party Chair Rob Sherman to withdraw his challenges.” I have personally challenged the nominating petitions of independents, but only when the petitions are either fraudulent (as a matter of law), or prima facie defective. In New York State, it is the job of the Board of Elections to reject petitions that are prima facie defective or fraudulent. Therefore, when the BOE does its job, I have withdrawn my objections before they are ruled upon. I have not, and will not, object to independent nominating petitions UNLESS they are prima facie defective, or fraudulent, regardless of how few, or how many signatures. The “effort” standard is specious; in that regard I agree with #9. The ILGP, and Rob Sherman, should withdraw the challenges.

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