Barrington gave village board candidate incorrect nominating forms
A Barrington village board candidate is accusing village officials of election tampering for providing him with nominating petitions that contained an error.
Michael Kozel, a Barrington resident who ran unsuccessfully for village president two years ago as a write-in candidate, said he collected more than 160 signatures to run for village trustee in the April election but might have to do it again because the forms include the date of the 2013 election.
"Messing with the integrity of elections is something you would expect from a third-world dictatorship, not Barrington," Kozel said during public comment at the village board meeting Monday night.
Village officials chalked up the error to an honest mistake.
"There was no favoritism or attempt to undermine," Village Attorney Jim Bateman said.
Bateman said the incorrect date was the result of a mistake by Melanie Marcordes, the deputy village clerk. He said Marcordes contacted him as soon as she learned of the mistake and then let everybody who'd gotten the forms know.
However, Kozel claimed the incorrect forms were given only to non-incumbents, not trustees seeking re-election.
Bateman said it is a good thing Marcordes informed people of the mistake because, in his opinion, it could lead to someone having their application for candidacy denied by the village's electoral board.
In 2012, the electoral board declared the nominating petitions of Kozel and two other trustee candidates invalid because they didn't include the required statements of economic interest.
Kozel then ran as a write-in candidate.
According to village statute, the village president, the most senior board member and the village clerk sit on the electoral board.
Kozel said Village President Karen Darch should recuse herself from the electoral board if any an objection to his trustee candidacy were raised.
Information on nominating petitions can be found on the Illinois Board of Election website.