Voters consider governor recall measure
November 1, 2010 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- Voters in Illinois have a significant question on their ballots Tuesday: should the state constitution be amended to allow voters to recall the governor?
If the measure passes, voters would be able to kick a governor out of office instead of waiting for the legislature, as was the case with former governor Rod Blagojevich. The process wouldn't be easy and some say it's unconstitutional.
"We need to allow citizens to take their government back and this is desperately needed to do that," said State Rep. Jack Franks, a Marengo, Ill. Democrat.
Franks, who sponsored the recall legislation for the ballot, admits it's not perfect. "I'm hoping we're able to pass this, then expand upon it," said Franks.
If voters pass the measure, the recall process would be complicated:
If all steps are followed, an election to recall would take place.
"I think the legislature needs to go back to the drawing board on this one," said Harvey Grossman, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
According to the ACLU, the petition requirement could be a problem because voters in counties with smaller populations would have more power than those in larger counties. "Anytime this comes into play in the future, the vulnerability of this amendment will come to light," said Grossman.
"The ACLU says a lot of things. Oftentimes they're wrong. I think they're wrong here," said Franks.
Regardless, it's likely any recall vote will end up in court. Illinois' recall would only apply to the governor. Eighteen states currently have some form of voter recall.
politics, alan krashesky
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