Illinois State Board of Elections
The Illinois Board of Elections was formed in 1973 on an act of the Illinois General Assembly. The board came as response from the 1970 Illinois Constitution calling for a central elections authority.
The State Board of Elections in Illinois is governed by an eight-person board consisting of four Republicans and four Democrats. There is a requirement that two members from each party reside in Cook County and the other two members of each party reside in Downstate Illinois, which is outside of Cook County.
Selection of members
The Governor of Illinois first selects the four members from his own party to serve on the Board. Then, the Governor appoints four members from a list provided by the highest-ranking member in the opposition party. Board members serve staggered four-year terms. Also, the Board elects a Chairman and Vice Chairman of opposite political parties.
Campaign finance reporting
The State Board of Elections is responsible under the law to provide all campaign finance reporting forms, develop a system of record-keeping for public inspection, to make sure all candidates and committee have their campaign finance reports in compliance, provide candidates who filed for office all necessary manuals on campaign finance law, and report illegal activities to law enforcement and other authorities.
Campaign finance discipline
The Illinois State Board of Elections is responsible for accepting and investigating complaints of the Illinois Campaign Financing Act. If someone believes a violation of Illinois campaign finance laws have occurred, the first step is to file a complaint with the State Board of Elections. The complaint must be verified by the State Board of Elections before any investigations can be conducted.
The verification is done through a closed-door hearing that determines if there is justifiable grounds to accept the complaint. If there is not enough evidence to justify the complaint, the complaint is thrown out.
If during the verification process is there enough evidence to accept the complaint, then the State Board of Elections holds a public hearing. During the public hearing, the accused campaign committee is given a chance to rebut the complaint. The State Board of Elections has up to 60 days after the hearing to render a decision.
If the Board determines the accused party was guilty of violating the law, an offer is made to the campaign to take corrective action. This is administered through a written order stipulating the action. In some cases, the action may involve a civil fine. The State Board of Elections cannot impose any civil fines over $5,000 except for committees formed for statewide offices which have a $10,000 fine limit. The State Board of Elections at any time can refer a complaint to the Attorney General regardless if it involves civil or criminal law violations.
- IL State Board of Elections Website
- 2010 Illinois campaign finance manual
- Illinois Campaign Finance Complaint
- Illinois Campaign Finance Appeals Forms
- Illinois State Board of Elections, "Frequently Asked Questions"
- Illinois State Board of Elections, "Illinois Campaign Financing Act"(Referenced Statute 5/9-16)
- Illinois State Board of Elections, "Illinois Campaign Financing Act"(Referenced Statute 5/9-20)
- Illinois State Board of Elections, "Illinois Campaign Financing Act"(Referenced Statute 5/9-21)
- Illinois State Board of Elections, "Illinois Campaign Financing Act"(Referenced Statute 5/9-23)
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