A dedicated group rushing to gather enough signatures to get an advisory public question on the Kane County ballot by Aug. 6 is hopeful but aware success might be a long shot.
The group is asking Kane County residents to put a question on the ballot asking voters if they think the U.S. Constitution should be amended to limit the use of corporate, special interest and private money from any political activity, including elections.
Kaye Gamble, of Sleepy Hollow, is spearheading the final push. She said they need about 6,000 more signatures and have people at libraries, farmers markets and Department of Motor Vehicle offices daily with plans to collect at Elgin’s Art and Soul on the Fox/Passeggiatta and Geneva’s Fine Arts Fair.
“It’s a matter of having someone out here all the time in all those places and we don’t have enough people,” Gamble said.
About 14 individuals are spending time every day gathering the 16,000 signatures they need to turn into the Kane County Board of Elections, but they are looking for more help.
The informal group came together over anger following the Citizens United vs. Federal Elections Commission 2010 Supreme Court Ruling that Gamble said “allowed the floodgates of money to open up.”
The court ruled that donations to political campaigns are a protected form of free speech that cannot be restricted, even if the party “speaking” is a corporation or union.
Several states have passed or are discussing resolutions in support of a constitutional amendment ending “corporate personhood,” effectively overturning the Citizens United decision, as have hundreds of municipalities across the country.
Debbie Dudek, of Elgin, is one of the signature collectors in Kane County. She said she got involved as a way to do something instead of nothing.
“It won’t overturn anything,” Dudek said. “But it’ll be out there for people to see and think about.”
Gamble hopes the ballot question will lead to a groundswell of support for Illinois to be the next state to pass a resolution. And for the next two weeks she’s going to be out every day trying to convince residents that voters should at least get to see the question come November.
“There have been thousands of people who have signed this and there are some very hard workers in our group who have sacrificed big time,” Gamble said. “That’s why I don’t want to quit.”
To join the effort to collect signatures email Gamble at kanemovetoamend [at] gmail.com.