SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Rachel Ventura introduced a measure in the Senate Executive Committee on Wednesday that would deem nomination papers invalid should the candidate be found to have been engaged in fraud.

“In order to have full transparency and prevent fraud in our elections, we must continuously set checks and balances so our electoral and nomination processes retain their integrity,” said Ventura (D-Joliet). “If a candidate is found to have personally engaged in any fraudulent behavior, we need language in place to ensure that these papers will be deemed invalid.”

The initiative would specifically come into play when the State Electoral Board has a hearing on an objection to a petition. A candidate’s nomination papers would be deemed invalid and the candidate's name would not appear on the ballot if the candidate is found to have personally engaged in material fraud or a pattern of fraud in connection with the signatures on the nominating papers, or false swearing of nominating papers.

“I will continue to prioritize the integrity of our elections and the electoral process,” said Ventura. “Our democracy depends on fair and just elections, and this measure will ensure this loophole is covered.”

Senate Bill 497 awaits further action in the Senate.