SPRINGFIELD, Ill.— Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today signed Senate Bill 2123, effectively allowing President Bush to appear on the Illinois ballot in November 2004. The bill signed today amends the Election Code to allow a presidential candidate to be put on the ballot in Illinois even with that candidate’s nominating convention occuring after the ballot certification deadline.
The new law, sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Frank Watson (R-Greenville) and House Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego), goes into effect immediately. Without the legislation, President Bush would be prohibited from appearing on the ballot in Illinois. With the Republican nominating convention being held this year in September, without the bill, Illinois state law would not allow for his nomination to be certified within the statutorily required 67-day period before the general election.
“Illinois citizens should be able to vote for the sitting President if they choose, and this technical change will make sure that they have that option in November,” said Governor Blagojevich. “I appreciate the nearly unanimous consent of the General Assembly on this matter.”