* From a press release…
Governor Bruce Rauner today issued writs of election as required by law to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of former U.S. Representative Aaron Schock.
The writs include election dates compliant with the 115-day timeline required by Illinois law, but the dates will be modified after the state enters into a consent decree to comply with the federal Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act.
The Administration expects the actual dates for the Special Primary Election and Special Election each will be delayed several weeks from the dates indicated in the writs of election. Governor Rauner will issue amended writs of election with the revised election dates after the consent decree is entered.
As prescribed by Illinois law, the first day for candidates of established political parties to file original nomination papers with the State Board of Elections will be Wednesday, April 15, 2015. The last day to file nomination papers will be Monday, April 20, 2015. Those dates will not be modified by the consent decree.
The writs are attached to this release.
For years, the Illinois Election Code has prescribed a timeline for conducting special elections for U.S. Representative that is not compliant with federal law. The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) is intended to protect the voting rights of citizens residing abroad, including in particular military men and women stationed overseas. Illinois law, however, does not provide sufficient time for ballots to be mailed abroad.
For that reason, the State of Illinois entered into a consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice in 2013 to bring the State temporarily into compliance with UOCAVA for the last special election for U.S. Representative. Governor Rauner, Attorney General Madigan, and the Illinois State Board of Elections are now working cooperatively with the Department of Justice to enter into a similar consent decree for the special election caused by former Rep. Schock’s resignation.
This problem has persisted without a permanent solution for too long. Governor Rauner is working with the General Assembly leadership to pass legislation to protect the voting rights of our military men and women serving overseas, while still providing that any vacancy is filled as expeditiously as possible to ensure full representation in Congress for the people of Illinois.
* The writs are here. Pretty cool old-time language in them.