You may have noticed some petitioners asking you to sign some petition sheets this week. Members and volunteers of the Libertarian Party of Illinois have been circulating petitions since Tuesday, March 26 to get our presidential slate on the ballot for the November 5, 2024 general election.

We’re trying to collect an estimated 38,000 signatures during this 91-day petitioning period. More specifics on that particular drive can be found here.

Why do you have placeholder candidates when your nominee isn’t selected yet?

This is a question we’ve heard for several cycles now, so it seems incredibly appropriate to explain this now.

As you may have noticed, there are two names currently on this ballot for President and Vice President:

  • President: Scott Schluter (former Political Director and 2022 nominee for Governor)
  • Vice President: Lex Green (former state chair)

Please note that this is not officially our slate. Because our petitioning cycle begins roughly two months before the nominee is selected at the national convention, we have to use placeholder names so that we can be able to circulate petitions.

As a self-autonomous organization, the Libertarian Party of Illinois (LPIL) is a member of the Libertarian National Committee. However, LPIL has the autonomy over the ballot access line and does not necessarily have to put the eventual nominee selected in Washington, D.C., the host location of the 2024 national convention, on the ballot, although we have normally filed for the nominee in every single cycle we’ve been on the ballot.

But enough about the cesspool of corruption that is Washington, D.C.

We have to go through additional paperwork on our filing day to swap out the placeholder names for whoever we choose to put in those slots. What those names will be is still to be determined, but that decision will seriously be weighed after the D.C. convention on Memorial Day weekend.

Don’t Forget The Downticket!

Yes, while the state party is focusing its effort on the only statewide race, the state of Illinois is in crisis mode over one crucial issue.

What is it, you ask? It’s the lack of competitive races in the Land of Lincoln.

In an analysis of the ballot for the 2024 primary last week, Capitol News Illinois reporter Andrew Adams reported that Illinois had roughly nine out of ten races that were uncontested that only had one candidate on the ballot for one political party and no opposition candidate for the other. This accounts for 88% of judicial and state legislative positions that only have one candidate on the ballot for the November general election. However, it does not account for data that reveals that 94% of all local races (countywide officials as well as county boards and commissions) were also uncontested.

82 judicial positions are available across the state this year, and 85% of those races either have one candidate or no one running at all.

A March 6 commentary written for The Daily Yonder by Tom Schaller and Paul Waldman reveals that the lack of political competition is harming rural Americans, so it’s most definitely not limited to Illinois. And honestly, they’re not wrong. A large majority of counties outside of Cook County are “red counties” mostly on the basis that no one else runs against them. In many of these counties, it’s been the same party in control mainly from having uncontested races.

Yes, we do have a slate running for office in Cook County that automatically advanced to the general election due to being uncontested. Yes, Chicago elected its first four Libertarian ward committeepersons this year.

But let’s not neglect the remaining 101 counties in the Land of Lincoln. If you would like to run for office in the 2024 general election, please contact us. The more political races that we can contest in November to establish the party locally, the better chances we can get toward our 5% threshold to become a major party in Illinois.

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