Republican gubernatorial hopeful Kirk Dillard cried foul Tuesday to state election authorities, alleging that petition circulators pushing rival Bruce Rauner’s term-limit drive were improperly swaying voters at polling places.
A top Dillard campaign operative said he is aware of reports of Rauner-aligned signature gatherers within 100 feet of polling places, asking GOP voters as they entered their places to vote to sign term-limit petitions.
“In some places, we have people saying, ‘Oh yes, this is what Rauner is involved in.’ They’re literally reminding people about this right as they go into vote,” Glenn Hodas, Dillard’s campaign manager, told the Chicago Sun-Times. “Unbelievable.”
A Rauner campaign spokesman declined comment on the charge.
But the top administrator with the State Board of Elections signaled he did not believe the petition circulators were breaking any state laws so long as they weren’t mentioning Rauner by name or showing voters any literature bearing his name within a 100-foot perimeter of the polling places.
“As long as you’re not wearing clothing or passing out literature or asking [voters] to sign something that says ‘Vote for Rauner’ when they go in, that doesn’t meet the level of electioneering,” Rupert Borgsmiller, executive director of the State Board of Elections, told the Sun-Times.
Rauner formed a political-action committee, the Committee for Legislative Reform and Term Limits, that he said has gathered 320,000 signatures thus far to get a term-limit initiative placed on the fall ballot.
Rauner has made the push to limit legislators’ terms in office to eight years a signature component of his vow to “shake up Springfield” and alludes to the petition drive at almost every political stop.