State of Illinois
92nd General Assembly

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 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)

 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        "Electoral district" means  a  county,  municipality,  or
15    district as defined in Section 1-3 of this Code.
16        "Public  question"  means  any  question, proposition, or
17    measure submitted to the voters  under  Article  28  of  this
18    Code,   except   that  "public  question"  does  not  include
19    questions relating to the Constitution.

20        (10 ILCS 5/12A-5 new)
21        Sec.  12A-5.  County  voters'  guide.  When  directed  by
22    resolution of the county board, the election authority of any
23    county must post a county voters' guide for on  the  county's
24    or   election   authority's  World  Wide  Web  site  for  the
25    consolidated election.

26        (10 ILCS 5/12A-10 new)
27        Sec. 12A-10.  Information  required  to  be  included  in
28    voters' guide.
                            -2-                LRB9206384MWpr
 1        (a)  If  a  county  produces  a county voters' guide, the
 2    county voters' guide must include, when applicable, at  least
 3    the following information:
 4             (1)   A   sample  ballot  containing  the  names  of
 5        candidates for all offices and all  public  questions  as
 6        they will appear on the ballot in the county.
 7             (2)  Requirements  for  a  citizen  to qualify as an
 8        elector.
 9             (3)  Requirements  for  registration,  transfer   of
10        registration, and re-registration.
11             (4) Instructions as to how an elector may obtain and
12        use an absentee ballot.
13             (5)  Elector instructions, including the right of an
14        elector to request a second ballot if the first ballot is
15        spoiled, the right of an elector to take into the  voting
16        booth a sample ballot marked in advance, and the right of
17        an  elector to seek assistance of the  judges of election
18        or someone of the elector's own choosing, other than  the
19        elector's  employer  or agent of that employer or officer
20        or agent of the elector's union, in marking the ballot.
21             (6) The hours that the polling places are open.
22             (7)  Any  portraits  and  statements   relating   to
23        candidates   submitted   under  the  provisions  of  this
24        Article.
25             (8) Any public questions as they will appear on  the
26        ballot,  explanatory  statements, and arguments submitted
27        under the provisions of this Article.
28             (9) A listing of the polling places.
29             (10)  Any  other  information  that   the   election
30        authority  considers  to  be  appropriate or necessary to
31        inform the voters.

32        (10 ILCS 5/12A-15 new)
33        Sec.  12A-15.  Schedule  and  procedures  for   producing
                            -3-                LRB9206384MWpr
 1    guide; fees.
 2        (a)  The  State Board of Elections must, by rule, adopt a
 3    schedule and procedures for posting  county  voters'  guides.
 4    The  schedule and procedures must include, but not be limited
 5    to, deadlines for filing material for the voters'  guide  and
 6    except  as  otherwise provided by law, the format of material
 7    to be submitted.
 8        (b) The Board must, by rule, adopt a schedule of fees  to
 9    be  charged by the election authority for including portraits
10    of candidates,  statements,  and  arguments  in  the  voters'
11    guide. The fees need not reflect the actual cost of producing
12    the  voters'  guide.  The  election authority must refund the
13    filing fee to any person who applies for the refund not later
14    than the last day for filing material for  inclusion  in  the
15    voters'  guide. When a refund is made, the material for which
16    the fee was paid may not be included in the pamphlet.

17        (10 ILCS 5/12A-20 new)
18        Sec. 12A-20.  Filing portrait and  statement  by  or  for
19    candidate.  Not  later  than the date specified by the Board,
20    any candidate  for  election  at  the  consolidated  election
21    within  the  county,  or  an agent of the candidate, may file
22    with the election authority  of  a  county  that  prepares  a
23    county  voters'  guide  a  portrait  of  the  candidate and a
24    typewritten statement of the reasons the candidate should  be
25    elected.  The  portrait  and  statement  must comply with the
26    applicable rules of the Board. The election authority may not
27    accept the filing of a statement or portrait of any candidate
28    unless the filing is accompanied by the  appropriate  fee  as
29    prescribed by the Board.

30        (10 ILCS 5/12A-25 new)
31        Sec.  12A-25.  Explanatory  statement. Not later than the
32    date specified by the Board, in  a  county  that  prepares  a
                            -4-                LRB9206384MWpr
 1    county  voters'  guide,  the  proponents of a public question
 2    that will appear on the  ballot  must  submit  an  impartial,
 3    simple,  and  understandable  statement explaining the public
 4    question and its effect.

 5        (10 ILCS 5/12A-30 new)
 6        Sec. 5/12A-30.  Filing arguments for or against measure.
 7        (a)  Not later than the date specified by  the  Board  by
 8    rule,  in  a county that prepares a county voters' guide, any
 9    person may file with the  election  authority  a  typewritten
10    argument  supporting  or  opposing any public questions to be
11    submitted to the voters on the ballot. The election authority
12    may not accept any arguments that are not accompanied by  the
13    fee  established  by  the  Board  or  a  petition  in  a form
14    prescribed  by  the  Board.  A  petition  must  contain   the
15    signatures  of  at  least  4%  of  the electors in the county
16    eligible to vote on the question to which the argument refers
17    or the signatures of 1,000 electors in the county eligible to
18    vote on the question to which the argument refers,  whichever
19    is  less.  The  number of registered electors in an electoral
20    district,  for  the  purposes  of  this  Section,   must   be
21    calculated on January 1 of each year. Each person signing the
22    petition  must  subscribe  to a statement that the person has
23    read and agrees with the  argument.   The  petition  must  be
24    filed with the election authority.
25        (b)  The  election  authority  must include in the county
26    voters' guide, the name  of  the  person  who  submitted  the
27    argument, the name of the organization the person represents,
28    if any, whether the argument supports or opposes the measure,
29    and  a  disclaimer  that  the argument does not constitute an
30    indorsement by the  county  and  that  the  county  does  not
31    warrant  the  accuracy  or truth of any statement made in the
32    argument.
                            -5-                LRB9206384MWpr
 1        (10 ILCS 5/12A-35 new)
 2        Sec.  5/12A-35.  Cost  of  guide  preparation.  All  fees
 3    collected by an election authority under  this  Act  must  be
 4    transmitted  to  the State Board of Elections, as provided by
 5    rule of the Board,  and  deposited  by  the  Board  into  the
 6    General  Revenue  Fund.  The  State  Board  of Elections must
 7    reimburse the election authority  for  the  actual  costs  of
 8    producing the county voters' guide from an appropriation made
 9    by the General Assembly.

10        (10 ILCS 5/12A-40 new)
11        Sec. 12A-40.  Content of statements and arguments; notice
12    of material that may be excluded.
13        (a)  Statements  and arguments submitted for inclusion in
14    a county voters'  guide  by  a  candidate,  political  party,
15    political committee, or other person supporting or opposing a
16    measure must consist only of words or numbers.
17        (b)  The   election   authority   must   specify  on  any
18    instructions for  filing  a  statement,  argument,  or  other
19    material  in  the voters' guide that the statement, argument,
20    or material may be excluded under Section 12A-50.

21        (10 ILCS 5/12A-45 new)
22        Sec. 12A-45.  Names of persons or organizations  excluded
23    from arguments and statements; exceptions.
24        (a)  Except   as  provided  in  subsection  (b)  of  this
25    Section, the election authority may not post the name of  any
26    person or organization in any argument supporting or opposing
27    any  public question or any statement of any candidate, filed
28    for inclusion in a county voters' guide, if the name  of  the
29    person  or  organization  is cited as supporting or endorsing
30    the argument or statement.
31        (b)  The election authority may post the name of a person
32    or organization in an argument  or  statement  submitted  for
                            -6-                LRB9206384MWpr
 1    inclusion   in  a  county  voters'  guide  as  supporting  or
 2    endorsing the argument or statement if:
 3             (1) not  later  than  the  deadline  for  filing  an
 4        argument  or  statement  with the election authority, the
 5        election authority receives a  statement  signed  by  the
 6        person,  or  by  an  authorized  person  on  behalf of an
 7        organization, stating that the person consents to the use
 8        of the name of the person or organization; or
 9             (2) the name of a person  or  organization  is  used
10        with  a  quotation  made  by  the person on behalf of the
11        person or  by  an  authorized  person  on  behalf  of  an
12        organization,  the  quotation  was  disseminated  to  the
13        public   prior  to  its  inclusion  in  the  argument  or
14        statement, and the quotation is identified by its  source
15        and date.
16        (c)  A  person  may  not  submit  a false signature under
17    subsection (b) of this Section.

18        (10 ILCS 5/12A-50 new)
19        Sec. 12A-50.  Type of material to be excluded from guide;
20    liability for libel; procedure if material excluded.
21        (a)  The election authority must  reject  any  statement,
22    argument, or other matter offered for filing and posting in a
23    county voters' guide that:
24             (1)  contains  any  obscene,  profane, or defamatory
25        language;
26             (2) incites or advocates hatred, abuse, or  violence
27        toward any person or group; or
28             (3)  contains  any  language that may not legally be
29        circulated through the mails.
30        (b) Nothing in this  Article  makes  the  author  of  any
31    statement  or  argument  exempt  from  any  civil or criminal
32    action because  of  any  defamatory  statements  offered  for
33    posting  or  contained  in  the  voters'  guide.  The persons
                            -7-                LRB9206384MWpr
 1    writing, signing, or offering a  statement  or  argument  for
 2    filing are deemed its authors and publishers.
 3        (c)  The  Board  must,  by rule, establish a procedure to
 4    notify a person who offered a statement, argument,  or  other
 5    matter  that  was  rejected  under  this  Section. Subject to
 6    voters' guide  deadlines,  the  procedure  must  require  the
 7    election authority to:
 8             (1) make reasonable attempts to notify the person of
 9        the rejection; and
10             (2)  allow  the  person, if notified under paragraph
11        (1) of this subsection, to revise the statement  so  that
12        it does not violate the provisions of this Section.

13        (10 ILCS 5/12A-55 new)
14        Sec.   12A-55.  Format   of  candidate's  statement.  The
15    candidate's statement in a county voters'  guide  must  begin
16    with  a summary of the following: occupation, educational and
17    occupational background, and prior governmental experience.

18        (10 ILCS 5/12A-60 new)
19        Sec.  12A-60.  Exemption   from   public   records   law.
20    Notwithstanding    any  other  provisions  of law relating to
21    public records, materials filed by a candidate for  inclusion
22    in  a  county  voters'  guide  and  arguments  supporting  or
23    opposing  a public question filed by any person for inclusion
24    in a county voters' guide are exempt from  public  inspection
25    until  the  4th  business day after the final date for filing
26    the materials.

27        (10 ILCS 5/12A-65 new)
28        Sec. 12A-65.  Statements and  arguments  inadmissible  in
29    action  to  enjoin  posting  of guide. Material submitted for
30    inclusion in any county voters' guide may not be admitted  as
31    evidence in any suit or action against the election authority
                            -8-                LRB9206384MWpr
 1    to restrain or enjoin the posting of the voters' guide.

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