Wheeler Advances Legislation to End Rigged Voting System

In an effort to end a rigged system and advance good government policy, State Representative Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) has passed Senate Bill 666 through the Illinois House of Representatives. The legislation ends the use a misinterpreted section of the Township Code that led to vastly reduced voter power in Township elections through the use of the caucus system.

“This legislation is good government policy that seeks to end the manipulation of township elections,” said Wheeler. “It is never good when a political party has the ability to limit the participation of voters due to the misinterpretation of the law. This change will ensure township voters in McHenry County have the same freedom of participation as those in any other county.”

Due to a vague section of the Illinois Township Code concerning the caucus process (alternative to a primary election), some townships in McHenry County were using a weighted voting system during caucus votes. This weighted voting system would give preferential treatment to Republican or Democrat township committee members when casting votes in a public caucus to determine candidates for election to township offices. Due to this, one committee member would be given dozens, or even hundreds, of votes compared to only one vote for any other registered voter participating in the caucus. Wheeler’s legislation guarantees every voter in a given party, regardless of committee membership, will have one vote, thus ending the manipulation of the caucus system.

Caucusing is frequently used to determine candidates for township office instead of the much more costly primary process. Township primary elections can cost township taxpayer’s $40,000 or more. Caucusing in this manor is similar to the caucus process used in states like Iowa.

Senate Bill 666, which was sponsored by State Senator Pamela Althoff (R-McHenry) in the Senate, previously passed the Senate in April. Now that is has passed the House, it will be sent the Governor’s desk for approval, which Wheeler hopes will happen quickly. Read the text of the legislation, Click Here.

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