Overtime Costs for Holiday Election Deadline

Nov 5, 2012

Illinois' election law may mean overtime for some municipal workers on Christmas Eve.  December 24th is the final day candidates may file nominating petitions for April's municipal elections.

The day before Christmas is not a state holiday, but it is in many local governments.  DeKalb County Clerk John Acardo says while it's not ideal, he and a few employees will staff the office that day to accommodate last minute filings.

"Would I like to see everything pushed back? Yes. More time to have filings and more time for election authorities to prepare for these things is preferred, but we respond to the will of the state, and we are ready for it.  We make plans and contingencies for that."

- DeKalb County Clerk John Acardo

Acardo expects it might be a busy day:

"If you're the first person to file, chances are you will be first on the ballot. If there's a lot of people running, you may want to have a strategic determination to make you last on the ballot.  During that last hour, we treat anyone that files between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. as filing simultaneously,  so they would go into a lottery to be placed "last" on the ballot."

Lawmakers could extend the filing period so these offices don't have to pay overtime, but that's not the case so far.

Chicago Tribune: Clerks Lobby Against Election Filing Deadline on Christmas Eve