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Article updated: 1/25/2013 3:54 PM

18-year-old Arlington Hts. park board candidate thrown off ballot

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A Buffalo Grove High School students has been thrown off the ballot for Arlington Heights Park District Board, making the April election an uncontested race, according to the Cook County Clerk's office.

Jona Augustyn, an 18-year-old senior, filed to run for park board because he said he wanted to get involved.

"The park board needs some younger voices and I can represent that," Augustyn said previously.

But, park board President Maryfran Leno, Vice President Myles Naughton and park board candidate Tim Gelinas filed an objection to Augustyn's petition two weeks ago.

The objection questioned the validity of 26 signatures on Augustyn's petition, with 12 challenged as to whether they belonged to residents or registered voters of the district and 14 more because they are printed and not signed. The objection also quested the notarization of Augustyn's petition.

The Cook County electoral board held an initial hearing on the objections on Jan. 15 and ruled on Thursday afternoon in favor of the objectors. Augustin's nominating petitions had 129 signatures, three more than the required 126 valid signatures. The board's ruling left the petition with 103 signatures, 23 less than required.

Leno said she's made a point of always checking the validity of park district nominating petitions because would-be candidates can get away with following almost no rules as long as no one else files an objection.

"It's nothing personal; it's just making sure that everything was done correctly," Leno said of the objection. "It is a complicated process."

With Commissioners Robert Whisler and Robert Smith retiring, there are now three candidates for three open seats: Maryfran Leno, Tim Gelinas and Will Ploger.

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