Evanston City Clerk Devon Reid has fashioned a handy guide and video, listing the key dates and actions needed for candidates running in next year’s municipal election.

Ever think about running for City office?

As low as 54 signatures can get you on the ballot in one case, but you might want to get more to back yourself up (and head off any possible challenges).

Evanston City Clerk Devon Reid has fashioned a handy election guide to next year’s first-in-four years municipal election, laying out key dates and steps in the process.

His report can be found under the reports and presentations tab on the City Clerk’s web page on the City of Evanston’s website, cityofevanston.org.

Mr. Reid has also fashioned an information video posted on the Evanston City Clerk’s Office  Facebook, walking potential candidates through the process.

That video can be viewed on or off Facebook at:

The City Clerk’s Office is prohibited from dispensing actual legal advice for those going through the process, Mr. Reid noted.

 “But we are working to be as transparent as possible to give folks as much information as we can to make sure that everyone who wants to get on the ballot, can,” said Mr. Reid, in his report at the Tuesday, Sept. 8 City Council meeting.

All nine aldermen as well as the Mayor and City Clerk are up for election in the April 6, 2021, election, which will determine the makeup of the Council for the next four years.

A consolidated primary election will be held Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021 in the mayoral race if more than two candidates file to run; and in the Clerk’s race and aldermanic race, should four or more candidates file.

Otherwise, the consolidated election, determining who will fill the seats, is scheduled to be held April 6, 2021.

Some of the key steppingstones and dates highlighted in Mr. Reid’s report include:

The petitioning period for the Primary Consolidated election, which began on Aug. 25.

Actual filing is to take place between Monday, Nov. 16 and Monday, Nov. 23.

Registered voters within a district will then have one week to file objections against the nomination petitions, seeking a candidate’s removal from the ballot on legal grounds.

“All candidates must file for the Primary Consolidated Election,” stressed Mr. Reid in his presentation, “even if a primary does not occur.”

His guide lists the number of signatures required for a candidate to run for office, giving minimum and maximum totals.

They are

— For  Mayor and Clerk:  921 to 1,474;

— Ward 1 Alderman: 76 to 126;

— Ward 2 Alderman: 78 to 128;

— Ward 3 Alderman: 133 to 212;

— Ward 4 Alderman: 95 to 153;

— Ward 5 Alderman: 54 to 104:

— Ward 6 Alderman: 182 to 290;

— Ward 7 Alderman: 118 to 188;

— Ward 8 Alderman: 77 to 127;

— Ward 9 Alderman: 108 to 173.

Mr. Reid’s report reviews some of the rules governing circulators and signers of petitions.  

  • Circulators must be 18 years or older by the date of the April 2021 Consolidated Election, and a US Citizen;
  • the circulator must witness all signatures on each sheet circulate and sign the affidavit;
  • signers must be registered voters in the political subdivision in which the candidate is seeking election;
  • signers may not sign for others;

Signatures may be stricken prior to the petition’s filing.

Candidates themselves must file a statement of candidacy, a receipt of Economic Interest submitted to the County Clerk, as well as the signature sheets.

The pages of the packet must be securely bound and signature pages must be consecutively numbers, the Clerk said in his report.

More information than in this broad overview can be found on the Clerk’s web page as well as the video.


Bob Seidenberg

Bob Seidenberg is an award-winning reporter covering issues in Evanston for more than 30 years. He is a graduate of the Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism.