Independent candidates say it's unfair they need more signatures to get on ballot

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(WBBM NEWSRADIO) — Some independent candidates for legislative office are threatening to file a federal lawsuit over the state’s rules for getting on the ballot.

Roger Romanelli, head of the Fulton Market Association, is a candidate for state representative from the Proviso area. Shawn Walker is a West Side candidate for state senate.

Romanelli argues the election rules are stacked against them. Democratic and Republican legislative candidates need 400 to 650 signatures. Independents need from 1,500 to 3,000 signatures.

Romanelli and Walker say they are considering a civil-rights lawsuit if they are both kicked off the ballot for an insufficient number of signatures.

The system also makes you drive to Springfield to file your petitions, Romanelli said. He wonders why candidates here can’t just do it at 69 West Washington St., where hearings on petition challenges are held.

Actually, he thinks he knows the answer: The major parties want to keep independents from running.