One of the biggest casualties Americans almost had due to the COVID-19 pandemic was the ability for third party candidates to petition to be on the November 3 ballot. Third party candidates are not allowed to start collecting signatures to be place on the general election ballot until after the state’s primaries, which this year was followed up with the Stay at Home order which prohibited collecting petition signatures.
The Libertarian and Green parties teamed up to go to court against Governor JB Pritzker and the State Board of Elections. They won the ballot access relief case and were able to get the deadline for both parties to collect signatures from June to August 7. Candidates running for seats for either party that were on the ballot in 2018 or 2016 do not have to petition to get on the ballot.
On May 1, Caseyville resident Paul Durr announced his intent to run as a Libertarian for the Illinois 112th legislative district seat, currently held by Democrat Katie Stewart of Glen Carbon. Durr, an electrical foreman at Demond Electric, has been interested in running for the seat for several years and has been politically active in the Libertarian Party, serving on its board of directors and field operations director. Durr has been following the “pension, corruption and spending crises” in the state. He feels “everything is a big money grab” in politics and “we are anywhere from 14-16% away from the 50% tax garnished from our pay (depending on state).
Durr said his plan is “to go in there and be the transparent whistle blower in the assembly. The more people know [about what goes on in session] they can go after their representative.” The platform Durr is running on is to “end corruption, no new taxes, and no new laws.
When asked about people who vote for third party candidates throwing their votes away, Durr said “there is no such thing as a split vote” and he will support ranked choice voting, which will allow a third party to succeed.” Durr says first President George Washington was adamant that a two-party system would not work in the United States. This can work with or without the electoral college still in place, by having voters select their top three choices.
According to ballotpedia.org, whoever gets 51% of the votes is decided the winner. If there is no outright winner in the first round, the lowest vote getter is eliminated and the second place votes are lifted to those candidates. If there is still no winner, the process is repeated.
Durr says the three-party system forces candidates to be themselves because they are not pandering to voters of every affiliation.
As of press time, the electronic petition site was unavailable. Durr will being going door to door and scheduling signings at citizens requests.
The 112th district includes most of Edwardsvlle, Glen Carbon, Maryville, Collinsville, and Caseyville and parts of Pontoon Beach and Fairmont City.