State argument over citizen’s initiatives

May 5, 2014

State election officials are beginning a long and deliberate process --- going through the two citizen's initiatives filed last week.  Challengers are trying to argue that's a waste of time and money.

Rupert Borgsmiller, the director of the Illinois State Board of Elections, figures that ... laid tail to tail ... the two petions his agency is dealing with would be 33 miles long. Sorting through them, he says, is a "monumental task."

"We knew going in on this process that this was going to be ... it was going to blow away anything that we'd ever done."

Borgsmiller says it'll take four to six weeks -- per petition -- to inventory, scan and verify signatures.

If they make it through, one petition would give voters the chance to amend the constitution by allowing an independent commission, instead of lawmakers, to draw legislative districts. The other would institute term limits.

But a lawsuit argues both are unconstitutional.  And that it's a waste of taxpayer money for the elections board to do all that work.

Borgsmiller says his agency is carrying on.

"Until we have something that tells us to stop, we have to continue on in this process."