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92_HB1770 LRB9206386MWmg 1 AN ACT concerning voters' guides. 2 Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois, 3 represented in the General Assembly: 4 Section 5. The Election Code is amended by adding 5 Article 12A as follows: 6 (10 ILCS 5/Art. 12A heading new) 7 ARTICLE 12A. COUNTY INTERNET VOTERS' GUIDE 8 (10 ILCS 5/12A-1 new) 9 Sec. 12A-1. Definitions. As used in this Article, 10 unless the context otherwise requires: 11 "Board" means the State Board of Elections. 12 "Election authority" means a county clerk or a Board of 13 Election Commissioners. 14 (10 ILCS 5/12A-5 new) 15 Sec. 12A-5. County voters' guide. When directed by 16 resolution of the county board, the election authority of any 17 county must post a county voters' guide on the county or 18 election authority's World Wide Web site for an election of 19 judicial candidates. 20 (10 ILCS 5/12A-10 new) 21 Sec. 12A-10. Information required to be included in 22 voters' guide. 23 (a) If a county produces a county voters' guide, the 24 county voters' guide must include, when applicable, at least 25 the following information: 26 (1) A sample ballot containing the names of 27 candidates for the office of judge of the Supreme, 28 Appellate, or Circuit Courts in the county. -2- LRB9206386MWmg 1 (2) Requirements for a citizen to qualify as an 2 elector. 3 (3) Requirements for registration, transfer of 4 registration, and re-registration. 5 (4) Instructions as to how an elector may obtain and 6 use an absentee ballot. 7 (5) Elector instructions, including the right of an 8 elector to request a second ballot if the first ballot is 9 spoiled, the right of an elector to take into the voting 10 booth a sample ballot marked in advance, and the right of 11 an elector to seek assistance of the judges of election 12 or someone of the elector's own choosing, other than the 13 elector's employer or agent of that employer or officer 14 or agent of the elector's union, in marking the ballot. 15 (6) The hours that the polling places are open. 16 (7) Any portraits and statements relating to 17 candidates submitted under the provisions of this 18 Article. 19 (8) A listing of the polling places. 20 (9) Any other information that the election 21 authority considers to be appropriate or necessary to 22 inform the voters. 23 (10 ILCS 5/12A-15 new) 24 Sec. 12A-15. Schedule and procedures for producing 25 guide; fees. 26 (a) The State Board of Elections must, by rule, adopt a 27 schedule and procedures for producing county voters' guides. 28 The schedule and procedures must include, but not be limited 29 to, deadlines for filing material for the voters' guide and 30 except as otherwise provided by law, the format of material 31 to be submitted and the size and other requirements 32 applicable to candidate portraits. 33 (b) The Board must, by rule, adopt a schedule of fees to -3- LRB9206386MWmg 1 be charged by the election authority for including portraits 2 of candidates and statements in the voters' guide. The fees 3 need not reflect the actual cost of producing the voters' 4 guide. The election authority must refund the filing fee to 5 any person who applies for the refund not later than the last 6 day for filing material for inclusion in the voters' guide. 7 When a refund is made, the material for which the fee was 8 paid may not be included in the guide. 9 (10 ILCS 5/12A-20 new) 10 Sec. 12A-20. Filing portrait and statement by or for 11 candidate. Not later than the date specified by the Board, 12 any candidate for election for the office of judge of the 13 Supreme, Appellate, or Circuit Courts within the county, or 14 an agent of the candidate, may file with the election 15 authority of a county that prepares a county voters' guide a 16 portrait of the candidate and a typewritten statement of the 17 reasons the candidate should be elected. The portrait and 18 statement must comply with the applicable rules of the Board. 19 The election authority may not accept the filing of a 20 statement or portrait of any candidate unless the filing is 21 accompanied by the appropriate fee as prescribed by the 22 Board. 23 (10 ILCS 5/12A-25 new) 24 Sec. 5/12A-25. Cost of posting. All fees collected by an 25 election authority under this Act must be transmitted to the 26 State Board of Elections, as provided by rule of the Board, 27 and deposited by the Board into the General Revenue Fund. The 28 State Board of Elections must reimburse the election 29 authority for the actual costs of posting the county voters' 30 guide from an appropriation made by the General Assembly. 31 (10 ILCS 5/12A-30 new) -4- LRB9206386MWmg 1 Sec. 12A-30. Content of statements; notice of material 2 that may be excluded. 3 (a) Statements submitted for inclusion in a county 4 voters' guide by a candidate, political party, political 5 committee, or other person must consist only of words or 6 numbers. 7 (b) The election authority must specify on any 8 instructions for filing a statement in the voters' guide that 9 the statement may be excluded under Section 12A-40. 10 (10 ILCS 5/12A-35 new) 11 Sec. 12A-35. Names of persons or organizations excluded 12 from statements; exceptions. 13 (a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this 14 Section, the election authority may not print the name of any 15 person or organization in any statement of any candidate, 16 filed for inclusion in a county voters' guide, if the name of 17 the person or organization is cited as supporting or 18 endorsing the statement. 19 (b) The election authority may print the name of a 20 person or organization in a statement submitted for inclusion 21 in a county voters' guide as supporting or endorsing the 22 statement if: 23 (1) not later than the deadline for filing a 24 statement with the election authority, the election 25 authority receives a statement signed by the person, or 26 by an authorized person on behalf of an organization, 27 stating that the person consents to the use of the name 28 of the person or organization; or 29 (2) the name of a person or organization is used 30 with a quotation made by the person on behalf of the 31 person or by an authorized person on behalf of an 32 organization, the quotation was disseminated to the 33 public prior to its inclusion in the argument or -5- LRB9206386MWmg 1 statement, and the quotation is identified by its source 2 and date. 3 (c) A person may not submit a false signature under 4 subsection (b) of this Section. 5 (10 ILCS 5/12A-40 new) 6 Sec. 12A-40. Type of material to be excluded from guide; 7 liability for libel; procedure if material excluded. 8 (a) The election authority must reject any statement 9 offered for filing and posting in a county voters' guide 10 that: 11 (1) contains any obscene, profane, or defamatory 12 language; 13 (2) incites or advocates hatred, abuse, or violence 14 toward any person or group; or 15 (3) contains any language that may not legally be 16 circulated through the mails. 17 (b) Nothing in this Article makes the author of any 18 statement exempt from any civil or criminal action because of 19 any defamatory statements offered for posting or contained in 20 the voters' pamphlet. The persons writing, signing, or 21 offering a statement for filing are deemed its authors and 22 publishers. 23 (c) The Board must, by rule, establish a procedure to 24 notify a person who offered a statement that was rejected 25 under this Section. Subject to voters' guide deadlines, the 26 procedure must require the election authority to: 27 (1) make reasonable attempts to notify the person of 28 the rejection; and 29 (2) allow the person, if notified under paragraph 30 (1) of this subsection, to revise the statement so that 31 it does not violate the provisions of this Section. 32 (10 ILCS 5/12A-45 new) -6- LRB9206386MWmg 1 Sec. 12A-45. Format of candidate's statement. The 2 candidate's statement in a county voters' guide must begin 3 with a summary of the following: occupation, educational and 4 occupational background, and prior governmental experience. 5 (10 ILCS 5/12A-50 new) 6 Sec. 12A-50. Exemption from public records law. 7 Notwithstanding any other provisions of law relating to 8 public records, materials filed by a candidate for inclusion 9 in a county voters' guide are exempt from public inspection 10 until the 4th business day after the final date for filing 11 the materials. 12 (10 ILCS 5/12A-55 new) 13 Sec. 12A-55. Statements inadmissible in action to enjoin 14 publication of guide. Material submitted for inclusion in any 15 county voters' guide may not be admitted as evidence in any 16 suit or action against the election authority to restrain or 17 enjoin the posting of the voters' guide.
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