Should Mayoral Candidate Signature Requirements Be Lowered?

Craig Dellimore
November 26, 2018 - 5:33 pm

Craig Dellimore


CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Some mayoral candidates said the requirement for more than 12,000 petition signatures to get on the ballot should be lowered, even though they feel confident they cleared the hurdle.

After filing 45,000 petition signatures, mayoral candidate William Daley said the legislature ought to lower the 12,500 signature requirement for mayoral candidates to be validated.  He says ballot access is important and it is a good thing that so many people are running for mayor now.

"It's a good sign that we have so many people are running for mayor; people care about this city" Daley said. "But legislature has got to look at those things."

Rival Dorothy Brown, the Circuit Court Clerk, said she feels similarly. She said the requirement should be a percentage of the number of people who voted in the last election as it is in other races. Former Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said the high signature requirement is meant to help protect incumbents.

However, former School Board President Gery Chico said the present requirement is a good rule. There should be some rigor — it's an important job, he said.

Daley also wants to do away with banning people from signing more than one nominating petition. Rival candidateChico agrees with him on that issue only.

Mayoral hopeful Lori Lightfoot said she is not okay with the signature requirement and called it "ridiculous" and "an absurdity." She pointed out that only 5,000 signatures are needed to run for governor. Lightfoot filed 32,000 to run for mayor.

Susana Mendoza and Dorothy Brown both filed about 25,000 signatures, which is only double of the required number. This puts them both on the lower end of support because all other mayoral candidates filed at least triple the amount of signatures.