Measure aims to prevent voting abuses in township caucuses
A bill to change township caucus procedures that came about in the wake of political abuse allegations in McHenry County passed the General Assembly at the end of the regular spring session, but it has not yet been signed into law by Gov. Bruce Rauner.
Senate Bill 0666, sponsored by Sens. Pamela Althoff (R-McHenry) and Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines), as well as Rep. Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake), clarifies the voting rights of caucus members.
“A participant in a caucus shall be entitled to only one vote for each office for which he or she is voting,” the bill summary states. It also provides "that a participant's vote shall not be weighted to be equal to more than one vote."
The caucus situation in McHenry County was identified as one the primary reasons for the bill. Members of the McHenry Township Republican Party who were contemplating retirement were encouraged to leave office early, allowing the remaining members to fill the seats, former state Rep. Cal Skinner claimed.
According to Skinner, instead of an election, the party held a caucus in which members who had voted in the primary were granted the number of votes cast in their precinct during the last GOP primary election. Everyone else got one vote.
Rep. Allen Skillicorn (R-Algonquin) told the McHenry Times that the bill got state government involved in an area it would be better served staying out of.
"Should legislators put their nose into local politics while ignoring the budget?” he said. “The more time we spend on local issues that can be decided by local stakeholders, the less time we have to fight off the special interests that are pushing for a massive tax hike."
Skillicorn voted against the bill.
"I choose to focus on the subject matter that can save our state and nothing else," he said.
Organizations in this Story
1500 Carlemont Drive
Crystal Lake, IL - 60014