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No Independent Candidates Qualify in Illinois

Published on December 29, 2005, by in General.

No independent candidates for congress, or for state executive or legislative posts, will be on the Illinois ballot in November 2006 (there may be minor party candidates in Illinois in 2006, but that hasn’t been determined yet). In Illinois, independent candidates must file in December of the year before the election (unless they are running for president, and of course 2006 is not a presidential election year). Although a handful of independent candidates turned in token petitions, all of them have been challenged.

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  1. “Throughout all U.S. history, there are only four individuals who have ever successfully overcome a (ballot access) signature requirement greater than 10,000 signatures in order to gain a place on a ballot for U.S. House of Representatives” according to Republican U.S. House Rep. Ron Paul of Texas.1

    For the 6th congressional district of Illinois, the valid signature requirement for independents is 21,1482. Democrats only have to submit 827 signatures for a candidate to appear on the ballot and 30 Republicans (695 signatures per candidate) can be eligible for the ballot with the same amount of signatures that it takes just 1 independent to get on the ballot.
    In the case of the Libertarian party, in 1998 their statewide slate was thrown off the ballot even though they submitted over 60,000 signatures3, which was well over the 25,000 requirement for third parties. To be on the ballot as an independent I would have to submit approximately 50,000 signatures or more to guarantee a spot on the ballot.

    To fulfill the State Board of Elections requirement an independent candidate would practically have to become a public nuisance and knock on every single door in the district to hopefully make it on the ballot. Unfortunately as working class citizen, I do not have the financial means or free time to wage such an extraordinary drive to be a part of the democratic process. This burden discriminatorily locks me out of being a part of the political process.

    Sadly, discriminatory laws in Illinois have discouraged others from running for office and I am the only independent candidate who has even filed to be on the ballot as U.S. House of Representatives in the entire state of Illinois. To protest the discriminatory laws that threaten the virtues of democracy, I, Brian Costin, knowingly filed my candidacy papers well short of the 21,148 required by law.

    Already opponents have taken efforts to throw my candidacy off the ballot. The Chairman of the Republican Party of Illinois was one of the two people to request copies of my signature submission and a lawsuit has been filed to remove my name from the ballot as the only independent congressional candidate in the entire state of Illinois.

    The efforts of Martin Luther King Jr. and others made the inhuman rights violations of racial, sexual, and religious discrimination illegal in the private and public-sector workplace. Sadly, another form of workplace discrimination is not only alive and well today, but the two-party system has made it legal to discriminate against those who want to engage in the democratic process outside of two-party structure. Is Illinois a democracy or a duopoly?

    Apparently one independent candidate is too many much competition for Democrats and Republicans in Illinois. But what they didn’t anticipate was that this candidate is willing to fight against the oppressive laws designed to discourage anyone who isn’t a Democrat or Republican to run for office. The only way to defeat this type of corruption is to fight.

    My hope is that in the future all citizens of Illinois and the entire U.S. are equal before the law and have an equal opportunity to be on the ballot. Instead of by the parties for the parties, I will fight for a democracy governed by the people for the people.

    Brian Costin
    Independent Candidate
    Illinois 6th U.S. House District
    http://www.briancostin.com
    1403 Haar Lane
    Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
    312-636-9856

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