The Calendar Window and Signature Requirements for Nominating Petitions have Changed:

ONE TIME CHANGE due to COVID-18 – Expires December 31, 2022

  New  Previous 
Window    60 Days 90 Days
Timeline January 13th to March 14th September – November


Signature requirements:                                                      

Office New  Previous 
State Rep 400 min – 1,000 max 500 min – 1,500 max
State Senator 650 min – 2,000 max 1,000 min – 3,000 max
Statewide 3,250 min – 6,500 max 5,000 min – 10,000 max
Other races 2/3rds of previous requirements vary by office



  • Less signature minimums BUT less margin for error due to lower maximum submissions - quality matters more than ever!
  • Worse weather – colder, darker & precipitation – less opportunities to collect quality signatures!
  • Less time to collect signatures – organization and preparedness are critical!
  • Additional challenges of increased security & barriers – ring doorbells, garages & alleys the new entrances, etc.

OPPORTUNITY – Turn an Obstacle into an Asset!

  • Previously High Rises viewed as impenetrable fortresses
    • Buzzers and doormen
    • Rules on soliciting
  • Now a collection of GOP voters waiting to be harvested in one location
    • Warm hallways
    • 24-hour access
    • Accurate – you have their addresses!
    • Pool of over 2,000 GOP voters

How to leverage this opportunity:

  1. Obtain voter list of Hard & Soft Rs (conduct a filter search on NationBuilder, filtering by the address of the target High-Rise. Details below)
  2. Identify High Rises and pockets of voters (over 100 averaging 250 units per building)
  3. Identify High Rise Coordinators for each building
    1. People we already know
    2. Mail campaign for buildings with no pre-existing contacts
  4. Train the Coordinators
  5. Gather contacts and information – Respect No Solicitation Rules!
    1. Known neighbors
    2. Email lists
    3. Mail campaign
  6. Build database for future volunteers, donors, and future petition campaigns. (In other words, LOG EVERY CONTACT that you have with residents in the building in NationBuilder so we can keep track of hot leads and/or potential members of our organization who are looking to get involved!)
  7. Rinse & repeat!

How to conduct a filter search on NationBuilder to search for Republicans who live in a High Rise Building.

What you'll need: A mobile device to download the FieldEdge App (for more information on how to access and download the app, click here), access to NationBuilder, the address of the high-rise you are trying to access data on. (Having trouble? Email Jeff)

A few additional notes:
  1. Our short window is actually shorter.
    1. The 60 days is really 55 days when you factor getting the petitions to the campaigns and the work they do to assemble and file by the deadline.
  2. This strategy works in high rise like buildings.
    1. Many areas on the north side have old factories that are converted into lofts.  They may not be vertical but they are big horizontally. A lot of 50 to 100 unit buildings. The folks in the West Loop and Ravenswood can use these strategies too.
  3. *** Most important, I would really discourage coffees until AFTER the petition season for a variety of reasons:
    1. * Our goal first and foremost is to get signatures.
    2. * Time is limited. Coffees take a lot of coordination, Your are essentially planning a party which eats up time. One event is at one time.  It's easier to schedule several 5 minute visits that score 6 valid signatures at a pop vs planning a parry where you don't know who is going to show up. You can schedule them at a time that works for the voter.  Think commando raid vs pitched battle.
    3. * Some buildings (the Hemingway House for example) have rules against using the public areas/party room for political events. That complicates things and again, time is limited.
    4. * You should get a very high response rate to calling to set an appointment to get signatures. Door knocking to R's homes in the city was 99% to Rs. Stopping by on their terms is easy. Go for the easy sale.
    5. * Coffees are great to fill the time between petitions drives and the primary. That's were you get volunteers and donors.

Courtesy of Paul Laliberte.