Illinois election law has served in the role of Grinch recently by requiring that school district and municipal offices stay open until 5:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve to accept candidate nomination petitions for the April 2013 consolidated election.  Our office and others across the State voiced concerns to legislators and lobbyists regarding this requirement.

Yesterday, the General Assembly attempted to resolve this concern by approving Senate Bill 3338.  The bill appears to extend the period for accepting nominating petitions to December 26.  The election code already provides that the office that accepts nominating petitions must be open until 5:00 p.m. on the last day of the filing period.  If the Governor signs SB 3338 into law, school district and municipal offices accepting nominating petitions will now need to be open until 5:00 p.m. on December 26 instead of December 24.  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 if the Governor signs SB 3338.  We will keep you apprised of further developments.