The Libertarian Party of Illinois lodged complaints on Thursday with both the Office of Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and the Office of Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez over intimidation tactics employed in an attempt to prevent the Libertarian's slate of statewide candidates from appearing on the November ballot.
The use of openly armed investigators in the petition process represents a new low in Illinois politics.
In addition to the potential abuse of constitutional rights, section 29-4 of the Illinois Election Code (10 ILCS 5/29-4) makes it a Class 4 felony to use force, intimidation, threat or deception intended to impede the petitioning process.
"The Illinois Republican Party's actions, by hiring a private investigation firm such as Morrison Security Corporation to engage in deceptive and coercive tactics against the Libertarian Party's petition gatherers and signers, are beyond outrageous," said Ben Koyl, Libertarian Party candidate for Illinois Attorney General. "The actions by the Republicans are calculated to deprive registered voters of Illinois of their right to free and open elections. These coercive and deceptive tactics have a chilling effect in that they discourage people from signing petitions and are in violation not only of Illinois election law, but also of our First Amendment rights," added Koyl.
More soon on this developing story.
Doug Ibendahl is a Chicago Attorney and a former General Counsel of the Illinois Republican Party.