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Could Illinois Recall Its Governor?

September 3, 2008 - 3:50pm

Illinois does not have direct democracy, but the lieutenant governor has begun a move to recall Gov. Rod Blagojevich, a Democrat who has been the subject of public corruption investigations. How? Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn and other supporters of the idea have placed an advisory referendum on the Cook County ballot asking whether the state constitution should be changed to permit gubernatorial recalls. And it may have legs. Blagojevich's spokesman told the Chicago Tribune that the governor supports giving the public the power to recall governors.

IL does have the initiative process

Illinois actually does have the initiative process, though it is very limited in its scope. Voters in 1970, following a constitutional convention, approved a limited form of the initiative. Initiatives may pertain only to legislative matters (structural or procedural).
Illinois voters in 1980 cast ballots on their first (and only) binding initiative. The measure, which passed easily, reduced the size of the state legislature. It also eliminated some multi-member districts and cumulative voting.
Incidentally, voters in Illinois adopted the advisory (non-binding) initiative in 1902 and then again in 1910. The IL legislature refused to act upon the voters' mandate.

He's Right

Though the initiative process is so limited that most scholars don't consider it to be a direct democracy state. More at http://www.iandrinstitute.org/Illinois.htm Joe Mathews Irvine senior fellow, New America Foundation www.newamerica.net/blog/blockbuster-democracy/