Friday, February 16, 2007

A new twist in ballot battle

The following piece appeared in the Daily Herald.

Our guess is that the district's electoral board will throw these two candidates off the ballot because they are not part of the tax and spend crowd. If these two individuals were part of the tax and spend crowd they would surely remain on the ballot. A similar incident occurred in a recently passed election where a school board member had their petition passed at a school event and they remained on the ballot. The district's electoral board should do the right thing since the paperwork was filled out wrong by those trying to remove the candidates they should let the voters decide whether or not Groth or Clark should be elected. The board should prove once and for all they want a truly representative board elected in District 300.

A new twist in ballot battle
By Jeffrey Gaunt
Daily Herald Staff Writer
Posted Thursday, February 15, 2007

Turnabout, it seems, is fair play in Community Unit District 300.

A pair of residents are trying to remove two school board candidates from the April ballot for failing to adhere to the letter of state law.

But the objections filed by residents Lisa Ihssen and Silvia Realzola also seem to violate the technical requirements of state statute.

And if the district’s electoral board agrees that the objections don’t conform to state code, the candidates stay on the ballot — whether or not their election paperwork contains errors.

Realzola’s objection cites six specific errors in the election paperwork submitted by candidate John Groth.

For instance, Realzola said, Groth wrote that he’s from Rutland-Dundee Township — which doesn’t exist.

Groth also wrote that District 300 is in Kane County, when it’s also in Cook, DeKalb and McHenry counties, Realzola said.

“Illinois statute says if you’re going to do this, you have to fill out paperwork in a certain manner,” Realzola said Tuesday.

Illinois statute also says the objections have to be filled out in a certain manner.

State election code says, “The objector’s petition … shall state the interest of the objector and shall state what relief is requested of the electoral board.”

Realzola didn’t include her interest in filing the objection.

Her objection states only, “These above mentioned inaccuracies/omissions should be grounds for removing John Groth from the ballot.”

When asked about the omission, Realzola said she does have an interest in the case — even if she didn’t include it on her paperwork.

“Then they can leave him on (the ballot) I guess,” Realzola said. “But I do have an interest. Like I said, I’m a parent. I’ve got four kids in the district. I’m a district voter in Dundee Township.”

There was a similar omission in the objection Ihssen filed against candidate Monica Clark.

Ihssen’s objection states that Clark left her nominating forms at a local restaurant and that no one was present to collect the requisite signatures.

But Ihssen, who did not return calls for comment Monday or Tuesday, also did not include her interest in filing the objection.

And she violated a second requirement of that same law by failing to say what should happen if the electoral board finds in her favor.

Her petition reads, “I believe that a candidate or the circulator of the petition should be present when obtaining petition signatures and I would like to object formally.”

The decision on whether or not to remove Clark and Groth from the April ballot now rests with the three District 300 school board members who form the electoral board: Mary Warren, Susie Kopacz and Anne Miller.

Hearings on the two cases are scheduled to start at 4 p.m. Tuesday at the district offices, 300 Cleveland Ave., Carpentersville.

Quote of the Day
"In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards. "
Mark Twain

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