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posted: 1/25/2010 12:01 AM

We recommend a 'Yes' vote in Mount Prospect

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Mount Prospect voters are likely to be baffled by a referendum question they will encounter on their ballots relating to how village elections are conducted.

The question likely will prove confusing to all but a few insiders, who themselves are split on which way to vote, and there's been no effort to explain it or to rally either support or opposition.

The village board voted 4-3 to put the question on the ballot, with Village President Irvana Wilks breaking a tie among board members.

She said the village can't publicize the measure in the village newsletter because it would violate laws against public bodies engaging in electioneering.

So what should you do? We support a "yes" vote as restoring an electoral process that is in keeping with village traditions and one that has worked well in the past.

In that system, elections have been nonpartisan, rather than slates nominated by political parties, with no primary and about 300 signatures needed to get on the ballot.

Before the last village election, the Illinois State Board of Elections decided under Mount Prospect's form of government, candidates should file to run in a primary and about 50 signatures would be needed to get on the ballot.

That created some scrambling, as candidates had to file earlier than in previous elections to allow for the primary.

In fact, no primary was held because it is waived unless there are five or more candidates for each open seat - which would be an unusual number for a municipal election.

Village board members who opposed holding a referendum did so in part because they liked the requirement for fewer signatures because it makes it easier for people to run. Those who favored putting the question to voters said the higher requirement discourages candidates who aren't serious about the job.