McHenry Co. judge candidate shows birth certificate; challenge dropped

  • Sally Oeffling Wiggins

    Sally Oeffling Wiggins

Posted7/13/2010 12:01 AM

A Barrington Hills woman who is opposed to the candidacy of dozens of political hopefuls - including President Barack Obama - over questions of their citizenship withdrew her challenge Monday morning to a McHenry County judicial candidate Sally Oeffling Wiggins after the candidate provided a local election board with her birth certificate.

"She's done what I asked for, so there is no reason to go beyond that," objector Sharon Ann Meroni said, bringing an abrupt end to a McHenry County Electoral Board hearing on her effort to throw Wiggins off the November ballot.


Wiggins, of Woodstock, was one of more than 30 independent and third-party candidates whose nominating petitions were challenged by Meroni as "insufficient because they fail to demonstrate and/or provide documentation that the candidate meets constitutional requirements for office."

The challenges claim that because the candidates did not supply election authorities with a birth certificate or some other proof of citizenship, voters cannot know whether they are eligible to hold office.

Wiggins' attorney, however, said she met all requirements to get on the ballot, including signing her name on a "loyalty oath" that states she is a U.S. citizen.

"I really view this objection as borderline harassment," Wiggins lawyer Margo Ely said. "If (Meroni) believes she should have to file a birth certificate, then she needs to get to Springfield and get them to change the law."

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Meroni later said she was sorry if her actions were harassing, but insisted that is not her intent.

"Since the government doesn't prove the citizenship status of the people on my ballot, I have to take a ballot with insufficient information," she said. "I only get one chance to express my sovereign will. That is my vote, and it means a lot to me."

In January, Meroni asked a judge to authorize a special grand jury to investigate whether Obama is a citizen eligible to hold office. McHenry County Judge Sharon Prather denied the request, ruling there is no basis in law for it.

Wiggins, 47, is running as an independent for a newly created circuit judge seat in McHenry County's 22nd Judicial Circuit. she will face Republican Associate Judge Gordon Graham in November.