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Article posted: 3/20/2013 11:35 AM

Group had obligation to challenge petitions

We would like to respond to the letter printed in the Fencepost March 13 about the Ela Tax Reform Party petition challenge. We believe the letter writer, Ms. Krause, is mistaken about the facts of this situation.

When members of the Ela Tax Reform Party looked at the Ela First petitions last December, we noticed that many signatures on some of the pages looked remarkably similar, down to circles above the i's. That series of apparent forgeries caused us call into question all the signatures on the Ela First petitions.

As a result, we simply asked a series of people to verify their signatures if they didn't look like the signatures on file in the county clerk's office. We called some of them first, as a courtesy, to say we'd like to stop by to check the validity of their signatures.

As a result, 10 people signed affidavits that their signatures were, in fact, forged. One of them was on the same page as Ms. Klaus's signature. We believed that we had to pursue our challenge to the Ela First petitions because we believe in the integrity of the election process.

In our opinion, the Ela First candidates brought the petition challenge upon themselves by submitting forged signatures. Those forged signatures were among the 91 (14 percent) that were judged illegitimate at the election board hearing.

Just because Ela First was able to retain enough signatures through the legal process to remain on the ballot does not mean that they are innocent of illegal election practices.

Barbara Evans, Nancy Shepherdson

Deer Park

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