Attorney Michael Hopkins has and continues to represent Municipal Officer Electoral Boards during the current consolidated election cycle during which candidates will run in party primaries and for municipal offices.
As local officials know, municipal governments are often presented with objections made to candidates’ nominating papers during consolidated election cycles, which include a consolidated primary election for established political parties and a general consolidated election, which can include candidates who have been successful in their primary bids as well as independent and other candidates for municipal offices.
Objections essentially seek to have candidates blocked from the ballot for various violations of the Illinois Election Code and require Municipal bodies to constitute a Municipal Officers Electoral Board to hear and pass on the objections made. Boards generally include the municipality’s mayor, senior trustee, and clerk. Often, electoral boards require the expertise of municipal attorneys like Hopkins.
“The requirements of Municipal Officers Electoral Boards are very precise under the Election Code,” said Hopkins. “These requirements are extremely time dependent as well, so the Board has to hit the ground running.”
During the current consolidated election cycle, which ends with the April 4, 2017 Consolidated Election, Hopkins has acted as attorney for local Municipal Officers Electoral Boards, offering both procedural and legal counsel the Boards.
“An attorney’s role in election objection cases is vital,” said Hopkins. “The Election Code can be difficult to interpret, and requires a lot out of electoral boards in a very short time frame. Moreover, objectors often object to candidates’ nominating papers on novel legal grounds. That requires solid analysis and advice that will help the Board reach decisions well-supported in law.”
Ultimately, Hopkins said, Electoral Boards hear the evidence in these cases and decide whether the objections are valid. Counsel’s role is to provide them with the best information available, allowing them to make well-informed decisions.