* Cook County Clerk David Orr sat down with the Sun-Times editorial board to lay out three reform ideas…
Between the deadline for candidates to file their petitions and the start of early voting, there simply isn’t enough time to fairly settle all ballot challenges. Most recently, candidates had to file by Dec. 4, and early voting started on March 5.
Orr wants to add two more weeks, and the Legislature should go for it, although his companion idea to move the primary to May might not get much support.
Second, Orr points out that it makes no sense to require some candidates for office in Cook County to gather more than 8,000 signatures when only 5,000 are needed to run for governor. To run for mayor of Chicago, a candidate must collect 12,500 valid signatures, which in the real world of city politics usually means having to collect at least 25,000 signatures to weather the storm of petition challenges. […]
A little excessive, can we agree? A 5,000-signature cap on signatures for all state and local offices would be prudent.
A third promising idea is to follow Denver’s lead and allow people circulating petitions to use internet-connected tablet computers that would instantly determine whether a signature on a petition is valid. That would cut down on the time needed to deal with signature challenges after candidates file.
A May primary would be a nightmare for legislators stuck in session. I just don’t see that happening.
Any other ideas?