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Appeals court upholds objections to referendum

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A three-judge panel of the state court of appeals has rejected efforts by former Gov. Pat Quinn to create a new system for adopting ordinances in Evanston.

The Evanston Voter Initiative proposal was bumped from the March 17 election ballot by the Evanston Electoral Board after three residents objected that the referendum was confusing and would have established a process not allowed under state law.

The appeals court, in an opinion filed March 11, agreed with the arguments made by the objectors and concluded the Electoral Board had made the correct decision in excluding the proposal from the ballot.

Inspired by a January 2019 appearance by Quinn in Evanston in which he advocated for such a voter initiative process to adopt ordinances, a group of local residents, led by Allie Harned, spent months collecting more than 3,800 petition signatures to get the measure on the ballot.

But Quinn’s claim that such referendums are authorized under state law now has been rejected by the Electoral Board, the Cook County Circuit Court and the stae Appellate Court.

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