The Crusader Newspaper Group

Pat Quinn turns in petition for mayoral term limits referendum

Crusader Staff Report

A petition with 86,481 signatures was submitted on Monday, August 6, requesting that a binding referendum be placed on the November ballot, asking voters to approve term limits for Chicago mayor.

Quinn told the Crusader that volunteers from across the city obtained the signatures by going door-to-door and attending community events like The Taste of WVON and the Bud Billiken parade. Quinn began collecting signatures for the petition in the summer of 2016.

Quinn said his volunteers are now focusing on getting registered voters to the polls in November.

“It’s going to be a battle day in and day out, in getting people to vote,” Quinn said.  “Chicago is a big machine that we have to overcome.”

If the petition and referendum succeed, the law will go into effect immediately and end Emanuel’s bid for a third term before the mayoral elections on February 19, 2019.

According to a poll paid for by Quinn’s non-profit organization Take Charge Chicago, 75 percent of the 600 likely Chicago voters favored limiting Chicago mayors to two terms, according to a poll paid for by Quinn’s non-profit corporation, Take Charge Chicago.

Led by former Governor Pat Quinn, the petition asks that the mayor in Chicago serve only two terms. With 6,000 pages, the petition was submitted to the city clerk’s office. Quinn needs 52,519 valid signatures to get the question on the ballot, but politicians usually obtain more signatures than required just in case some are invalid or someone challenges it.

The City Council aims to block the referendum. On June 27, the City Council placed three non-binding questions on the November 6 ballot. With the maximum number of questions on the ballot, there is concern that the move serves to prevent Quinn’s measure from going before voters.

Quinn argues that the strategy won’t succeed. He said the potential term limit referendums are a separate category that’s not limited to three questions. The city’s law department reportedly disagrees.

Emanuel campaign spokesperson Caron Brookens told the Sun-Times, “There is a process to get a question on the ballot.  Now that Pat Quinn has filed his petition, the process will play out.”

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