School district and municipal local election officials whose Christmas Eve plans were in jeopardy can breathe a sigh of relief.  School district and municipal offices no longer need to be open until 5:00 p.m. on December 24 to accept candidate nomination petitions.  Today, the Governor signed into law Public Act 97-1134, approving the General Assembly’s action that we reported on last week.  For this election cycle, the last day for filing candidate nomination petitions at school district and municipal offices is December 26, 2012.  Therefore, those offices must now be open until 5:00 p.m. on December 26.

As we stated in our prior alert, the new law will also have an impact on the time period for accepting objections and may have other scheduling implications.  Local election officials should consult with their attorneys to ensure they are complying with the scheduling requirements of the election law.