Section 1600.710  Petitions


a)         All petitions shall be in the form adopted by the System.  Petition forms may be obtained from the System on or after October 1 immediately preceding the Election Date.  The petition forms may be photocopied for use by the candidates.  If offered by SURS, petition signatures can also be submitted via an independent, secure third-party vendor selected by SURS to accept signatures electronically.


b)         A valid petition nominating a candidate for an open contributing membership position or an open annuitant position on the System's Board of Trustees shall meet the following requirements:


1)         On page one of the petition the potential candidate must sign the petition as one of the nominating signatories.  The signature shall constitute the potential candidate's confirmation that he or she is willing to be a candidate.  If using the offered third-party vendor for submitting electronic signatures, the candidates may submit their own signatures electronically as well.


2)         The petition must bear the requisite number of original signatures of individuals eligible to nominate the candidate, as established by Section 1600.700(b) or (c).  A valid petition may consist of multiple pages and may contain blank signature lines; however, all valid signatures must be original signatures unless they are submitted via an offered third-party vendor.  Each candidate must submit their own petition and/or obtain electronic signatures on behalf of their own candidacy.  Single petitions listing multiple candidates will not be accepted.


3)         Each original or electronic signature of an eligible voter must be accompanied by the signing person's name (printed), home address (street and city), and SURS employer (or last SURS employer).  Other eligible voter information, including the last four digits of the signer's social security number may be included to assist the Board Secretary in verifying petition signing eligibility.  Signatures that are not accompanied by at least a partial address will not be accepted.  The partial social security number shall remain confidential.


4)         Petitions may be circulated for signatures commencing the October 1 immediately preceding the applicable Election Date and ending on January 31.


5)         An individual eligible to sign a petition nominating a candidate for an open contributing membership position on the Board may sign original and/or electronic petitions for as many contributing membership position candidates as desired. 


6)         An individual eligible to sign a petition nominating a candidate for an open annuitant position on the Board may sign original and/or electronic petitions for as many annuitant candidates as desired.


7)         Original-hardcopy petitions shall bear the notarized signature of the individual who circulated the petition for signatures, verifying that the signatures contained on the petition were signed in that individual's presence and are genuine, and that, to the best of the circulating individual's knowledge, the persons who signed the petition were eligible to do so under Section 1600.700(b) or (c).  These requirements do not apply to petition signatures submitted electronically through the third-party vendor offered by SURS.


8)         Original petitions and petitions with electronic signatures shall be filed with and must be received by the Board Secretary by the January 31 immediately preceding the Election Day.  Petitions received after the prescribed petition-filing period are invalid and will not be counted.


c)         The Board Secretary shall determine the validity of petitions pursuant to the Illinois Pension Code and this Part not less than 75 days prior to the Election Day and notify all candidates in accordance with the election calendar whether their petitions met all petition requirements.  Candidates filing conforming petitions will be added to the slate of candidates on the respective ballot.


d)         Any individual may, upon reasonable notice to the System, examine the petitions that have been filed with the System with respect to the election to take place; provided, however, that in order to protect the signing participants' and annuitants' privacy and confidentiality, the examination shall be subject to the following limitations:


1)         Petitions that are examined will be duplicate copies of the original petitions filed and/or printouts of electronic signatures filed, with any confidential information redacted; 


2)         Petitions and electronic signatures may only be examined at the System's offices after the validity of the petitions has been verified by the Board Secretary as provided in subsection (c); and


3)         Petitions and electronic signatures may not be removed from the System's offices, copied, or duplicated by any means.


e)         Challenge to the Petition Validation Process


1)         The challenger shall submit a written statement identifying the specific aspects of the petition validation process that is being challenged.


2)         All challenges shall be submitted to the Board Secretary no later than 7 days after the petition validation notification required in subsection (c).  Any challenge submitted more than 7 days after the date of the notification shall not be considered. The Board Secretary shall transmit any challenges to a 3 member committee of the Board, comprised of members of the Board not running in the contested election.


3)         The committee shall consider the written statement and proceed to make a final determination with respect to the challenge.


4)         A written notice of the final determination shall be sent to the challenger and all candidates within 7 days after making the determination.


5)         The determination of the committee shall constitute a final administrative decision for purposes of the Administrative Review Law [305 ILCS 5/Art. III].


(Source:  Amended at 45 Ill. Reg. 6649, effective May 11, 2021)