PEKIN — Potential candidates for office can have some of the mystery behind the election process explained during a Sept. 4 forum.
"It'll make it where everybody has a level playing field" in terms of information, County Clerk John Ackerman, one of the forum's organizers, said. "It's always been an advantage for people in politics or in the know. They have that knowledge or experience advantage."
Meant to be a nonpartisan forum, officials from the Illinois State Board of Elections as well as from the local Democratic and Republican parties will present and be available to answer questions about the process during the 5 p.m. event in the Tazewell County Justice Center's community room.
Some of the detail is meant to help ensure "potentially good people don't fall off the ballot because of little things," Ackerman said. It's also a potential forum for local party leaders to make clear some ground rules for candidates hoping to bear their standard.
“Individuals interested in becoming a candidate for office often feel overwhelmed by the requirements and procedures to run for office” said Brent Davis, the Illinois State Board of Elections director of election operations, in a prepared statement. “The State Board of Elections has many resources available to educate candidates, and this event is a good opportunity for candidates to learn about those resources and have their questions answered.”
It comes on the second day after candidates are permitted to have citizens sign their nominating petitions, which are to be turned in by early December for the spring elections.
The event will be open to the public — including residents who live in other counties but may still be interested in the information — and also will be live-streamed on the Tazewell county clerk's Facebook page.
Local offices up for election in 2020 include seats on the County Board as well as county state's attorney, coroner, circuit clerk and auditor. In Tazewell County, the office of board chairman is also up for election.