Fittest loser
Article updated: 12/23/2013 6:34 PM

Error costs DuPage forest candidate a ballot spot

Joseph C. Wozniak

Joseph C. Wozniak

Linda Painter

Linda Painter

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A DuPage County Forest Preserve Commission candidate won't have his name appear on the primary election ballot because of a mistake he didn't commit.

Joseph C. Wozniak of Naperville gathered enough signatures to enter the Republican primary against forest preserve Commissioner Linda Painter of Hinsdale.


But because Wozniak's nomination petition was notarized by a notary who didn't have the proper certification to do the work, the entire 31-page document was deemed invalid Monday by the county electoral board.

"I think it stinks," Wozniak said moments after the electoral board voted 3-0 to remove his name from the March 18 ballot.

Wozniak said he believed the notary he used was qualified to notarize documents in DuPage. But the attorney representing Ralph Stompanato of Darien, who challenged Wozniak's petitions, presented evidence showing the notary didn't get recertified after moving from DuPage to Will County. State law requires that a notary reapply if he or she moves outside a county.

If it wasn't for the issue with the notary, Wozniak could have stayed on the ballot.

Wozniak needed 193 valid signatures to appear on the ballot as a forest preserve commission candidate for District 3. The district includes all or parts of Bolingbrook, Burr Ridge, Clarendon Hills, Darien, Downers Grove, Hinsdale, Lemont, Naperville, Westmont, Willowbrook and Woodridge.

Wozniak, who serves on the College of DuPage board of trustees, collected 290 signatures.

Stompanato was able to get 75 of the signatures on Wozniak's petition deemed invalid for a variety of reasons. But that alone wouldn't have been enough to get Wozniak removed from the ballot.

Painter attended the hearing on Monday. She declined to comment when it was over.

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