On Tuesday August 25th, 2020 the process of running for city offices officials started. The day marked the first day potential candidates could start collecting signatures to get on the primary ballot. The consolidated city primary will be held on February 23rd, 2021.
There are deadlines for turning in your signature petitions and those deadlines depend on what you plan to run as. According to the City of Freeport; Notice of Election released by City Clerk Dovie Anderson there are two different deadlines. The first deadline is for both the Republican and Democratic Party’s as well as the local Citizen’s and People’s party’s. Petitions must be turned in between November 16th through November 23rd, 2020. The second deadline is for running as an independent, new party, Commission-Municipal, and non-municipal nonpartisan office. That deadline is between December 14th through the 21st, 2020.
Signature Requirement’s for City and Township
Signature requirements to get on the ballot in the City of Freeport election as a Democrat, Republican, Citizen, and People’s Party candidate are 1% of the total ballots cast in the last Mayoral Election. According to records posted by Stephenson County Clerk Vici Otte there were 4,095 votes cast in the last Mayoral Election. That means the required signatures would be at least 41 to get on the ballot with any of the above 4 parties.
Signature requirements for Independent candidates are 5% of the total ballots cast in the last Mayoral Election. That would be 205 signatures required to run as an Independent candidate for Mayor, City Clerk, and any open Alderperson position.
Special Note: A candidate for whom a nomination paper has been filed as a partisan candidate at a consolidated primary election, and who is defeated for nomination, is prohibited from being listed on the ballot at the consolidated election as an independent candidate or a candidate of another political party, and may not file a declaration of intent to be a write-in candidate at that consolidated election. (10 ILCS 5/7-61, 10-3, 17-16.1, 18-9.1) The 2021 candidates guide can be viewed at the end of the story.
Definition of an Independent candidate: Independent candidates are defined as those individuals who are not candidates of any political party, but who are candidates in an election at which party candidates appear on the ballot under the heading “Independent.” (10 ILCS 5/10-3)
One last option for those who may want to opt out of the Party system and find the signature requirements as an Independent to be burdensome is to run as a write-in candidate. Those qualifications are below.
You can also become a write-in candidate for either the primary or the general election: For the consolidated primary and consolidated election, a write-in candidate must file a notarized “Declaration of Intent to be a Write-In Candidate” (SBE Form P-1F) no later than 61 days prior to the election. However, whenever an objection to a candidate’s nominating papers for any office are sustained after the 61st day before the election, the candidate may file a notarized Declaration of Intent to be a Write-In Candidate form for that office with the proper election authority or authorities no later than seven days prior to the election. The declaration must be filed with the proper election authority or authorities in those jurisdictions in which they are seeking to be a write-in candidate. Any candidate who is required to file a certificate of qualifications (assessor, multi-township assessor) to participate as a candidate should file such certificate with the declaration of intent form. The “Declaration of Intent to be a Write-In Candidate” form can be obtained from the election authority’s office. (10 ILCS 5/7-59(b), 17-16.1, 18-9.1; 35 ILCS 200/2-45(b))
Township races will require 25 signatures for established parties such as Democrat, Republican. Citizen, and People’s Party. A minimum of 50 signatures will be required to run as an Independent candidate for a Freeport Township race.
City of Freeport and Freeport Township Races
The City Hall offices up for election in 2021 include Freeport Mayor(Currently held by Jodi Miller-Citizens Party), City Clerk(Currently held by Dovie Anderson-Citizens Party), Alderperson in Ward’s 2(Currently held by Peter McLanathan-Citizens), 4(Currently held by Don ParkerCitizens), 6(Currently held by Sally Brashaw-Republican) The notice of election from the city can be seen at the end of the story.
The Freeport Township Offices up for election in 2021 include Freeport Township Supervisor(Currently held by Patrick Sellers-Citizens), Freeport Township Clerk(Currently held by Barbara Burns-Citizens<Not running), Freeport Township Assessor(Meta Ridgway-Citizens), and all four Freeport Township Trustee positions(Currently held by Joy Sellers-Citizens, Kathleen Altensey-Citizens, Melinda Cook-Democrat, and Nickee Bender-Citizens<Not running)
Other City, Town, and Village Races
Cedarville Village President, all four Cedarville Village Trustees, all 3 Dakota Village Trustees, Davis Village President, all 3 Davis Village Trustees, German Valley Village President, all three German Valley Village Trustees, Lena Village President, Lena Village Clerk, all four Lena Village Trustees, Orangeville Village President, all three Orangeville Village Trustees, Pearl City Mayor, all three Pearl City Village Trustees, Ridott Village President, all three Ridott Village Trustees, all four Rock City Village Trustees, all four Winslow Village Trustees.
Other Township Races
Township Supervisors, Clerks, Assessor’s, Highway Commissioner’s, and four Trustee’s for each Township in Stephenson County will be elected. Those Townships are Buckeye, Dakota, Erin, Florence, Harlem, Jefferson, Kent, Lancaster, Loran, Oneco, Ridott, Rock Grove, Rock Run, Silver Creek, Waddams, West Point, and Winslow. NOTE: The Township Assessor’s positions are combined in the following Townships: Dakota/Rock Grove, Erin/Kent, Florence/Silver Creek, Jefferson/Loran, and Waddams/Winslow
Parks and Recreation Elections
Freeport Park District Commissioner, Lena Park Commissioner, Pearl City Park Commissioner, Winslow Park Commissioner, Lena Library Trustees, Pearl City Library Trustees, Pecatonica Library Trustees
School District and Colleges
Dakota School District 201 Board Members, Durand School District 322 Board Members, Eastland School District 308 Board Members, Forrestville Valley School District 221 Board Members, Freeport School District 145 Board Members, Lena-Winslow School District 202 Board Members, Orangeville School District 203 Board Members, Pearl City School District 200 Board Members, Pecatonica School District 321 Board Members, Warren School District 205 Board Members, Winnebago School District 323 Board Members.
Highland Community College District 519 Trustees, Rock Valley Community College District 511 Trustees, Regional School Trustees(Boone/Winnebago), Regional School Trustees(Carroll/Jo Daviess/Stephenson), Regional School Trustees(Lee, Ogle, Whiteside)
See an error anywhere? Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Special Note; This is not intended to be a complete list of rules, guidelines, and qualifications to run for any of these offices. If you wish to do so you should consult your local election officials, an attorney, and/or local party officials.
A complete guide to all local elections can be found here on the Stephenson County Elections Page: http://www.co.stephenson.il.us/clerk/elections2020.asp
Past Election Results can be found here: http://www.co.stephenson.il.us/clerk/Past-elections.asp
We will be covering these local elections as they unfold. One candidate has already declared their intentions to run for Mayor. Very soon we will be putting together a permanent column to keep everyone up to date on everyone who’s declared, seeking signatures, and running for office!
Carl Utt is a recently minted citizen journalist. He believes we’re in a once in a lifetime moment in time to change the course of history unlike ever before. What will you do?