How to become a delegate
18/December 1991 /Illinois Issues
be entitled to vote for a number of delegate candidates equal to the number of delegates allocated to the congressional district. In other words, if 10 delegates will be elected from a congressional district, each voter in that district may vote for up to 10 delegate canididates.
The Democratic primary will also be a binding" primary. As a result, the number of primary votes a presidential candidate receives in a congressional district will determine the number of delegate positions he or she will be awarded from that congressional district. For example, in a district entitled to 10 delegates where a presidential canididate receives 40 percent of the primary vote in that district, he or she will be entitled 40 percent of the delegates, in this case four delegates. If a second presidential canidate receives 20 percent of the vote in the district, that candidate will be entitled to two delegates. The allocation of delegate positions will continue until each position has ten allocated to a presidential candidate. Presidential candidates must, however, receive a minimum threshold percentage of percent of the primary vote in the district order to be entitled to any delegates from that district.
In brief, here are the basic steps to get on the March 17 ballot in a congressional distict as a candidate for Democratic delegate or alternate to the national convention.
1. Register to vote. Each candidate must be a registered voter and a Democrat. Contact your county clerk or the state Democratic party for information on how to register to vote.
2. Circulate petitions. Nominating petitions must contain the required number of valid signatures from registered voters who reside in the congressional district. To find out how many signatures are required in our congressional district (and the proper form for petitions), contact the State Board of Elections either in Springfield (217) 782-4141 or Chicago (312) 814-6440 or the Illiois Democratic party. The petition circulating period began October 18 (before district boundaries were known) and ends January 15.
3. File petitions. Original petitions and "Statements of Candidacy" must be filed with the State Board of Elections in Springfield located at 1020 South Spring St. Copies of petitions. Statements of Candidacy and "Presidential Preference Statements" must also be sent to the state party. The petit-
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Republican Delegates (Continued from page 18.)
tions for the Republican delegation among the districts. Each district gets two delegates and two alternates off the top. The remaining 35 delegate and 35 alternate delegate positions are then allocated to the various congressional districts under a complex scheme based on the strength of the Republican vote in the previous presidential election (for details see Ill. Rev. Stat. 1989, ch. 46, sec. 7-14.1, Alt. A(2)).
Candidates for district-level delegate and alternate delegate positions must circulate and file a petition consisting of a Statement of Candidacy, notarized pages containing the signatures of 600 primary election voters and an optional loyalty oath. (Forms of these documents appear in Ill. Rev. Stat. 1989, ch. 46, sec. 7-10).
Candidates for these delegate and alternate positions must also either declare support for a presidential candidate or declare that they are uncommitted. If more persons file as committed to a particular candidate than there are positions allocated to a congressional district, the presidential candidate will select those delegate and alternate delegate candidates to be identified on the ballot as committed to the presidential candidate. The "extra" candidates will appear on the primary ballot, but their candidacies will be labeled as uncommitted.
While delegate candidates declare preferences, these declarations are not binding. Any delegate candidate who has declared support for a particular presidential candidate is not bound if elected a delegate to vote at the Republican National Convention for that presidential candidate.
The presidential primary in Illinois will be March 17, and voters who choose the Republican ballot will be entitled to cast a number of votes for delegates equal to the number of delegate positions allocated to the congressional district where they vote. The Republican primary ballot also allows for voters to cast a vote directly for one presidential candidate. This vote, commonly known as the "popularity contest," is advisory in nature and does not bind delegates in any manner.
To become a Republican candidate for district-level delegate in the primary election, you must be a registered primary voter within your new congressional district. You must circulate and submit notarized signature pages containing no less than 600 signatures from qualified party electors of the Republican party in the congressional district selected. On November 18, the official circulation period was extended from December 16, 1991 until January 27, 1992. The notarized signature pages, a statement of candidacy and an optional statutory loyalty oath must be filed in the Springfield office of the State Board of Elections on or after January 20, 1992, and on or before January 27, 1992. Both the circulation and filing periods were extended by court orders as a result of the new congressional districts' having been adopted and issued on November 6.
For more detailed and precise information on this process, contact: the State Board of Elections either in Springfield at South Spring (Post Office Box 4187) 62704, phone (217) 782-1547; or in Chicago at the State of Illinois Center, Suite 14-100, 100 West Randolph 60601, phone (312) 814-6440.
Craig S. Burkhardt is general counsel, Illinois Republican State Central Committee.
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Democratic Delegates(Continued from page 19.)
tion filing period begins January 8 and ends January 15. Again, either the State Board of Elections or the state party can provide details on the correct form for these required statements.
4. Get approval of the presidential candidate you support. In order to appear on the primary ballot, all candidates for district level delegate and alternate delegate must have the written authorization of the presidential candidate they prefer. If you are unsure how to reach a presidential candidate, the Illinois Democratic party will provide you with the name of the appropriate contact person for each presidential campaign. At the close of the petition filing period, the state Democratic party will send each presidential candidate a list of all delegate and alternate delegate candidates who have designated their preference for that presidential candidate. The presidential candidates must file a list of approved delegate and alternate delegate candidates with the state party by February 4. (Failure of a presidential candidate to file such a list will be deemed approval of all delegate and alternate candidates.)
After the primary election of delegates comes the process of selecting the 36 at-large delegates and nine at-large alternate delegates from the Illinois Democratic party to the national convention. These delegates and alternates will be apportioned to each presidential candidate according to the statewide popular vote received by that presidential candidate at the primary. However, only presidential candidates who receive at least 15 percent of the statewide primary vote will be entitled to participate in this delegate allocation. Also, in order to fulfill the affirmative action goals established by the national Democratic party, priority will given to African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans, women and persons with disabilities in selecting the at-large delegates and alternates.
Illinois's new congressional districts, Chicago area
Sources: Democratic Party of Illinois, Illinois Republican Party and Illinois State Board of Elections
These delegates and alternates will be apportioned to each presidential candidate
Here are the basic steps to become an at-large delegate or alternate, ultimately elected by the Democratic State Central Committee in Springfield on May 23.
• 1. File a Statement of Candidacy. Candidates for the position of at-large delegate and at-large alternate delegate must file a Statement of Candidacy indicating their presidential preference with the Illinois Democratic party by April 28. The state party will forward to each presidential candidate a list of those candidates for delegate and alternate delegate who prefer that presidential candidate.
2. Get approval of the presidential campaign you support. Either the state party or the State Board of Elections can provide addresses. Each presidential candidate must file with the state party a list of all approved candidates for at-large delegate and at-large alternate no later than May 22. (If the presidential candidate fails to file with the state party, all candidates will be deemed approved.)
3. Get elected by the Democratic State Central Committee.
The committee elects the 36 at-large delegates and nine alternates when it meets May 23 in Springfield.
The third category of delegates totals 40 and is selected as follows:
1. The 16 national Democratic party members from Illinois will be automatic delegates who do not have to declare a presidential preference.
2. Elected officials, who are Democrats, qualify for 21 delegate slots to be filled by the Democratic State Central Committee on May 23, but any elected official who would like to be considered for these positions must file a Statement of Candidacy declaring a presidential preference with the state party by April 28. These delegate positions will be allocated among the presidential candidates on the same basis as the allocation of at-large delegates.
3. Three delegates who do not have to declare a presidential preference will also be elected by the Democratic State Central Committee at a meeting on May 23. Any Illinois resident who is a registered voter may run for the position of unpledged delegate.
Michael J. Kasper is counsel to the Democratic Party of Illinois.
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