SPRINGFIELD -- The Illinois State Board of Elections voted Friday that Green Party, Constitution and Independent candidates for governor not be included on the ballot because the parties gathered too few valid signatures. The board at the same time allowed Libertarian governor candidate Chad Grimm to appear along with Republican challenger Bruce Rauner and Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn.
Third-party candidates typically take about 5 percent of the vote, stripping votes from Republicans or Democrats, with recent election history showing their ability to swing a very close race. In 2010, Quinn defeated Republican state Sen. Bill Brady by less than one percent of 3.6 million votes, with independent, Green and Libertarian candidates receiving about 7 percent of the total vote.
Meanwhile, Democratic Cook County Recorder of Deeds Karen Yarbrough challenged the validity of the Greens' signature petitions, which could eat away at Quinn's Democratic vote totals. The Green Party had more than the 25,000 signatures required of non-established political parties that receive less than 5 percent of the popular vote in the previous election. But Yarbrough challenged 12,000 of those signatures.
The Green Party, in turn, filed a federal lawsuit aimed at the process. A judge rejected that suit on Thursday, on the grounds that he is staked with upholding the requirement in the state constitution for a party to collect a certain number of valid signatures.
Grimm, a 33-year-old Lake Zurich High School alumnus now living in Peoria, has made previous unsuccessful bids for state representative and Peoria City Council. He is running on a platform that includes eliminating state income taxes and privatizing education. Grimm also calls for the elimination of regulations on firearms -- other than gun owners being at least 18 -- and "ending the war on marijuana."
The Libertarian lieutenant governor candidate is Alexander Cummings.