The Chicago Board of Election Commissioners on Wednesday upheld a hearing officer’s finding that a petition to hold a referendum on term limits for Chicago’s mayor was legally invalid.

The referendum will not appear on the November ballot, the board ruled.

Former Gov. Pat Quinn and his Take Charge Chicago group, which gathered signatures in an effort to get the referendum on the ballot, promised to take the matter to court.

Quinn argued the Chicago City Council should not have been allowed to crowd the binding referendum on term limits off the ballot by approving three advisory referenda questions, which he described as a deliberate “sabotage tactic.”

State law places a limit of three referendum questions per election, allies of Mayor Rahm Emanuel successfully argued. Emanuel dropped out of the mayor’s race last week, but his lawyers have pushed ahead with the objection to the term limit petitions.

The lawyers also contended, and the election board agreed, that Quinn’s petitions did not pass legal muster because they posed two questions instead of one: should Chicago limit its mayor to two four-year terms and should it create an elected consumer advocate?


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