ARLINGTON HEIGHTS – Illinois election law and the calendar are threatening to make taxpayers say "Bah, humbug" on Christmas Eve.
The combination of an early spring Election Day and legal requirements for candidates wanting their names on the ballot means government offices have to stay open Dec. 24 – and the bureaucrats staffing them will get overtime pay.
State law requires the period for political candidates to file nominating petitions begin 113 days before the April 9 municipal elections, and run for eight days – ending at 5 p.m. on Dec. 24 this year. It's not a state holiday but it is for many city governments, school districts and park boards whose voters will go to the polls next spring.
There's legislation in the House to extend future filing periods if they fall during a period that includes Christmas Eve. But its sponsor, Rep. Robert Pritchard, R-Hinckley, says there isn't time to change the date this year.
Spring elections are supposed to occur the first Tuesday in April unless that date conflicts with Passover, which it does in 2013. That altered the filing period.