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92_HB1771 LRB9206384MWpr 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 "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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