(a)  All nomination papers filed in conformity with section 12-3 shall be deemed valid unless objection is made thereto by a registered voter, an officer of a political party whose name is on file with the chief election officer, the chief election officer, or the county clerk in the case of a county office.  All objections shall be filed in writing not later than 4:30 p.m. on the sixtieth day or the next earliest working day prior to the primary or special election.

     (b)  If an objection is made by a registered voter, the candidate objected thereto shall be notified of the objection by the chief election officer or the clerk in the case of county offices by registered or certified mail.

     (c)  If an objection is filed by an officer of a political party with the circuit court, the candidate objected thereto shall be notified of the objection by an officer of the political party by registered or certified mail.

     (d)  Except for objections by an officer of a political party filed directly with the circuit court, the chief election officer or the clerk in the case of county offices shall have the necessary powers and authority to reach a preliminary decision on the merits of the objection; provided that nothing in this subsection shall be construed to extend to the candidate a right to an administrative contested case hearing as defined in section 91-1(5).  The chief election officer or the clerk in the case of county offices shall render a preliminary decision not later than five working days after the objection is filed.

     (e)  If the chief election officer or clerk in the case of county offices determines that the objection warrants the disqualification of the candidate, the chief election officer or clerk shall file a complaint in the circuit court for a determination of the objection; provided that the complaint shall be filed with the clerk of the circuit court not later than 4:30 p.m. on the seventh working day after the objection was filed.

     (f)  If a political party objects to the nomination paper filed by a candidate because the candidate is not a member of the party pursuant to the party’s rules filed in conformance with section 11-63, an officer of the party whose name appears on file with the chief election officer shall file a complaint in the circuit court for a prompt determination of the objection; provided that the complaint shall be filed with the clerk of the circuit court not later than 4:30 p.m. on the sixtieth day or the next earliest working day prior to that election day.

     (g)  If an officer of a political party whose name appears on file with the chief election officer, the chief election officer, or clerk in the case of county offices files a complaint in the circuit court, the circuit court clerk shall issue to the defendants named in the complaint a summons to appear before the court not later than 4:30 p.m. on the fifth day after service thereof.

     (h)  The circuit court shall hear the complaint in a summary manner and at the hearing the court shall cause the evidence to be reduced to writing and shall not later than 4:30 p.m. on the fourth day after the return give judgment fully stating all findings of fact and of law.  The judgment shall decide the objection presented in the complaint, and a certified copy of the judgment shall forthwith be served on the chief election officer or the clerk, as the case may be.

     (i)  If the judgment disqualifies the candidate, the chief election officer or the clerk shall follow the procedures set forth in sections 11-117 and 11-118 regarding the disqualifications of candidates.