This past July, P.A. 96-1008 changed several deadlines in the Election Code, including when nominating petitions for school board elections and objections to petitions must be submitted. Our July 9, 2010 FR Alert noted that nominating petitions for next year’s school board elections must now be filed between December 13 and December 20, 2010. Objections to nominating papers must be made within five business days after the last day for filing nominating petitions. The filing of objections then triggers a series of steps which must be accomplished very quickly.

The Illinois State Board of Elections and county election officials have advised that school district offices must remain open to accept nominating petitions and objections at times and on dates when the offices might otherwise be closed due to the Christmas and New Year’s holidays and the associated winter break. Except for remaining open on December 20 until 5:00 p.m. to receive nominating petitions, the law allows for greater flexibility with respect to objections to petitions than is being officially recommended by the State Board of Elections and county election officials. Options for keeping the school district’s desired schedule for the winter break may exist.