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Illinois Election Board sees only 5 percent of levied fines paid

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September 22, 2011

Illinois

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois: In a recent report released by the Illinois Election Board, it was stated that over the past thirteen years fines have been levied on various election campaigns totaling $21.5 million but only $1.2 million of those fines have actually been paid. On average, just $95,875 is paid a year to the Election Board for levied fines but the annual salary of the Board's employees tops $332,000 a year. Critics have stated that the Board should be made more efficient, but the Board countered that all the fines collected are put towards the general fund and do not go back into the pockets of the Board so there should be no relationship between the fines and the costs of the Board. Others note that the Board needs more teeth so they can better enforce the fines and ensure the money gets paid by those in violation. But State officials stated that appeals are often made, especially by newcomers to the process so a policy of lenience has been followed for the most part. Allowing for leniency the first time around encourages more people to participate, so the Board stated. Fines are based on the amount of the donation infraction made by the campaign.[1]

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