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Illinois town posts job opening… for Democrats only

If you happen to live in or around Joliet Township in Illinois, located a bit to the southwest of Chicago, and you happen to be looking for work, there’s some good news coming your way. The Township is looking to hire a new clerk. If you’re interested, the job will entail many of the tasks you’d likely expect, including answering phones, filing and making copies. There is one special requirement, however. You have to be a Democrat to apply. (CBS Chicago)

A help-wanted ad in the suburbs raised eyebrows this week – with its suggestion that only Democrats need apply.

Such a restriction would be illegal.

The ad was posted by the Joliet Township government. They are looking for a part-time deputy town clerk.

The job listing included the requirement that the candidate “must have voted in a Democratic primary election.” Illinois uses a closed primary system, so the only way you could have voted in the primary was if you’re a registered Democrat.

This is obviously a problem According to the Illinois Equal Employment Opportunity Law, they can’t do that. The second sentence in the state’s public policy statement reads, “Political affiliation and views will not be considered in hiring, assignment of work, evaluations, or discipline (including termination).”

When the local CBS affiliate contacted the township, they were told that the office wasn’t aware that the requirement was against the law. They’ve since removed the requirement from the job listing. But the cat is pretty much out of the bag now, right?

They’re not supposed to even ask you what you’re party affiliation is when you go for an interview, but it probably wouldn’t be all that tough to figure out. Political campaigns are allowed to access voter rolls to help them work out fundraising issues and develop mailing lists. And one would assume that the township offices include some elected officials. But even if you make it past the screening process, casual conversations with coworkers could reveal your political preferences before too long unless you’re exceedingly careful.

One wonders if Township Supervisor Daniel Vera is behind this, or at least aware of it. I mean, I’ve heard of towns being described as Democratic (or Republican) “strongholds” before, but this is ridiculous.

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