Merry Christmas, candidates in local elections: You have an extra day to get your name on the April 2013 ballot!
A new state law, passed Nov. 29 by both houses of the General Assembly, is also good news to municipal clerks, school board secretaries, township clerks, park district and library secretaries and other local election officials who previously were required to accept candidate petitions until 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve, regardless of whether their respective governmental offices were open.
The law is effective immediately.
Senate Bill 3338 amends Section 1-4 of the Election Code to specify that, for the 2013 consolidated election period, local election officials have until 5 p.m. Dec. 26 to accept candidates' petitions or certificates of nomination.
The law does not require governments to be open all day Dec. 26, 2012, but they are required to remain open for at least some time period until 5 p.m. Under this law, public bodies have no discretion to refuse to accept petitions on Dec. 26.