Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SB1525
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Full Text of SB1525  103rd General Assembly




State of Illinois
2023 and 2024


Introduced 2/8/2023, by Sen. Laura Ellman


10 ILCS 5/16-3  from Ch. 46, par. 16-3

    Amends the Election Code. Provides that the lettering on all ballots shall be in both capital and lowercase letters in conformance with standard English language guidelines. Effective immediately.

LRB103 27022 BMS 53389 b





SB1525LRB103 27022 BMS 53389 b

1    AN ACT concerning elections.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 5. The Election Code is amended by changing
5Section 16-3 as follows:
6    (10 ILCS 5/16-3)  (from Ch. 46, par. 16-3)
7    Sec. 16-3. (a) The names of all candidates to be voted for
8in each election district or precinct shall be printed on one
9ballot, except as is provided in Sections 16-6.1 and 21-1.01
10of this Code Act and except as otherwise provided in this Code
11Act with respect to the odd year regular elections and the
12emergency referenda. The lettering on all ballots shall be in
13both capital and lowercase letters in conformance with
14standard English language guidelines. All ; all nominations of
15any political party shall be being placed under the party
16appellation or title of such party as designated in the
17certificates of nomination or petitions. The names of all
18independent candidates shall be printed upon the ballot in a
19column or columns under the heading "independent" arranged
20under the names or titles of the respective offices for which
21such independent candidates shall have been nominated and so
22far as practicable, the name or names of any independent
23candidate or candidates for any office shall be printed upon



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1the ballot opposite the name or names of any candidate or
2candidates for the same office contained in any party column
3or columns upon said ballot. The ballot shall contain no other
4names, except that in cases of electors for President and
5Vice-President of the United States, the names of the
6candidates for President and Vice-President may be added to
7the party designation and words calculated to aid the voter in
8his choice of candidates may be added, such as "Vote for one,"
9"Vote for not more than three." If no candidate or candidates
10file for an office and if no person or persons file a
11declaration as a write-in candidate for that office, then
12below the title of that office the election authority instead
13shall print "No Candidate". When an electronic voting system
14is used which utilizes a ballot label booklet, the candidates
15and questions shall appear on the pages of such booklet in the
16order provided by this Code; and, in any case where candidates
17for an office appear on a page which does not contain the name
18of any candidate for another office, and where less than 50% of
19the page is utilized, the name of no candidate shall be printed
20on the lowest 25% of such page. On the back or outside of the
21ballot, so as to appear when folded, shall be printed the words
22"Official Ballot", followed by the designation of the polling
23place for which the ballot is prepared, the date of the
24election and a facsimile of the signature of the election
25authority who has caused the ballots to be printed. The
26ballots shall be of plain white paper, through which the



SB1525- 3 -LRB103 27022 BMS 53389 b

1printing or writing cannot be read. However, ballots for use
2at the nonpartisan and consolidated elections may be printed
3on different color paper, except blue paper, whenever
4necessary or desirable to facilitate distinguishing between
5ballots for different political subdivisions. In the case of
6nonpartisan elections for officers of a political subdivision,
7unless the statute or an ordinance adopted pursuant to Article
8VII of the Constitution providing the form of government
9therefor requires otherwise, the column listing such
10nonpartisan candidates shall be printed with no appellation or
11circle at its head. The party appellation or title, or the word
12"independent" at the head of any column provided for
13independent candidates, shall be printed in letters not less
14than one-fourth of an inch in height and a circle one-half inch
15in diameter shall be printed at the beginning of the line in
16which such appellation or title is printed, provided, however,
17that no such circle shall be printed at the head of any column
18or columns provided for such independent candidates. The names
19of candidates shall be printed in letters not less than
20one-eighth nor more than one-fourth of an inch in height, and
21at the beginning of each line in which a name of a candidate is
22printed a square shall be printed, the sides of which shall be
23not less than one-fourth of an inch in length. However, the
24names of the candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor
25on the same ticket shall be printed within a bracket and a
26single square shall be printed in front of the bracket. The



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1list of candidates of the several parties and any such list of
2independent candidates shall be placed in separate columns on
3the ballot in such order as the election authorities charged
4with the printing of the ballots shall decide; provided, that
5the names of the candidates of the several political parties,
6certified by the State Board of Elections to the several
7county clerks shall be printed by the county clerk of the
8proper county on the official ballot in the order certified by
9the State Board of Elections. Any county clerk refusing,
10neglecting or failing to print on the official ballot the
11names of candidates of the several political parties in the
12order certified by the State Board of Elections, and any
13county clerk who prints or causes to be printed upon the
14official ballot the name of a candidate, for an office to be
15filled by the Electors of the entire State, whose name has not
16been duly certified to him upon a certificate signed by the
17State Board of Elections shall be guilty of a Class C
19    (b) When an electronic voting system is used which
20utilizes a ballot card, on the inside flap of each ballot card
21envelope there shall be printed a form for write-in voting
22which shall be substantially as follows:
24    (See card of instructions for specific information.
25Duplicate form below by hand for additional write-in votes.)  
26     .............................  



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1     Title of Office
2(   ) .............................  
3     Name of Candidate
4    Write-in lines equal to the number of candidates for which
5a voter may vote shall be printed for an office only if one or
6more persons filed declarations of intent to be write-in
7candidates or qualify to file declarations to be write-in
8candidates under Sections 17-16.1 and 18-9.1 when the
9certification of ballot contains the words "OBJECTION
11    (c) When an electronic voting system is used which uses a
12ballot sheet, the instructions to voters on the ballot sheet
13shall refer the voter to the card of instructions for specific
14information on write-in voting. Below each office appearing on
15such ballot sheet there shall be a provision for the casting of
16a write-in vote. Write-in lines equal to the number of
17candidates for which a voter may vote shall be printed for an
18office only if one or more persons filed declarations of
19intent to be write-in candidates or qualify to file
20declarations to be write-in candidates under Sections 17-16.1
21and 18-9.1 when the certification of ballot contains the words
23    (d) When such electronic system is used, there shall be
24printed on the back of each ballot card, each ballot card
25envelope, and the first page of the ballot label when a ballot
26label is used, the words "Official Ballot," followed by the



SB1525- 6 -LRB103 27022 BMS 53389 b

1number of the precinct or other precinct identification, which
2may be stamped, in lieu thereof and, as applicable, the number
3and name of the township, ward or other election district for
4which the ballot card, ballot card envelope, and ballot label
5are prepared, the date of the election and a facsimile of the
6signature of the election authority who has caused the ballots
7to be printed. The back of the ballot card shall also include a
8method of identifying the ballot configuration such as a
9listing of the political subdivisions and districts for which
10votes may be cast on that ballot, or a number code identifying
11the ballot configuration or color coded ballots, except that
12where there is only one ballot configuration in a precinct,
13the precinct identification, and any applicable ward
14identification, shall be sufficient. Ballot card envelopes
15used in punch card systems shall be of paper through which no
16writing or punches may be discerned and shall be of sufficient
17length to enclose all voting positions. However, the election
18authority may provide ballot card envelopes on which no
19precinct number or township, ward or other election district
20designation, or election date are preprinted, if space and a
21preprinted form are provided below the space provided for the
22names of write-in candidates where such information may be
23entered by the judges of election. Whenever an election
24authority utilizes ballot card envelopes on which the election
25date and precinct is not preprinted, a judge of election shall
26mark such information for the particular precinct and election



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1on the envelope in ink before tallying and counting any
2write-in vote written thereon. If some method of insuring
3ballot secrecy other than an envelope is used, such
4information must be provided on the ballot itself.
5    (e) In the designation of the name of a candidate on the
6ballot, the candidate's given name or names, initial or
7initials, a nickname by which the candidate is commonly known,
8or a combination thereof, may be used in addition to the
9candidate's surname. If a candidate has changed his or her
10name, whether by a statutory or common law procedure in
11Illinois or any other jurisdiction, within 3 years before the
12last day for filing the petition for nomination, nomination
13papers, or certificate of nomination for that office,
14whichever is applicable, then (i) the candidate's name on the
15ballot must be followed by "formerly known as (list all prior
16names during the 3-year period) until name changed on (list
17date of each such name change)" and (ii) the petition, papers,
18or certificate must be accompanied by the candidate's
19affidavit stating the candidate's previous names during the
20period specified in (i) and the date or dates each of those
21names was changed; failure to meet these requirements shall be
22grounds for denying certification of the candidate's name for
23the ballot or removing the candidate's name from the ballot,
24as appropriate, but these requirements do not apply to name
25changes resulting from adoption to assume an adoptive parent's
26or parents' surname, marriage or civil union to assume a



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1spouse's surname, or dissolution of marriage or civil union or
2declaration of invalidity of marriage or civil union to assume
3a former surname or a name change that conforms the
4candidate's name to his or her gender identity. No other
5designation such as a political slogan, title, or degree or
6nickname suggesting or implying possession of a title, degree
7or professional status, or similar information may be used in
8connection with the candidate's surname. For purposes of this
9Section, a "political slogan" is defined as any word or words
10expressing or connoting a position, opinion, or belief that
11the candidate may espouse, including, but not limited to, any
12word or words conveying any meaning other than that of the
13personal identity of the candidate. A candidate may not use a
14political slogan as part of his or her name on the ballot,
15notwithstanding that the political slogan may be part of the
16candidate's name.
17    (f) The State Board of Elections, a local election
18official, or an election authority shall remove any
19candidate's name designation from a ballot that is
20inconsistent with subsection (e) of this Section. In addition,
21the State Board of Elections, a local election official, or an
22election authority shall not certify to any election authority
23any candidate name designation that is inconsistent with
24subsection (e) of this Section.
25    (g) If the State Board of Elections, a local election
26official, or an election authority removes a candidate's name



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1designation from a ballot under subsection (f) of this
2Section, then the aggrieved candidate may seek appropriate
3relief in circuit court.
4    Where voting machines or electronic voting systems are
5used, the provisions of this Section may be modified as
6required or authorized by Article 24 or Article 24A, whichever
7is applicable.
8    Nothing in this Section shall prohibit election
9authorities from using or reusing ballot card envelopes which
10were printed before January 1, 1986 (the effective date of
11Public Act 84-820) this amendatory Act of 1985.
12(Source: P.A. 102-15, eff. 6-17-21; revised 2-28-22.)
13    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
14becoming law.