DuPage clerk asks what to do with votes cast for ineligible Glendale Heights candidates
The DuPage County clerk is seeking guidance from the Illinois Supreme Court on what her office should do with votes cast for two Glendale Heights village president candidates whom the high court removed from the ballot just days before the election.
Longtime Village President Linda Jackson and one of her opponents, Edward Pope, faced challenges from Glendale Heights resident Matthew Corbin to their nominating petitions for having fewer registered-voter signatures than required by the election code.
On Friday, the state Supreme Court reversed an appellate court ruling allowing Jackson and Pope to remain on the ballot. The high court's ruling, which wasn't accompanied by an opinion, leaves the remaining candidates - Chodri Ma Khokhar and Mike Ontiveroz - to vie for village president.
However, DuPage County Clerk Jean Kaczmarek points out it's too late to physically remove Jackson's and Pope's names from the ballot.
So Patrick Bond, attorney for the clerk's office, on Monday filed an emergency request asking the court to allow Kaczmarek to suppress, or not report, votes cast for Jackson and Pope. The clerk would just report the votes received by Ontiveroz and Khokhar.
Bond argued in the request that it was too late to reconfigure the software in the county's voting machines.
It would require halting all election activity in DuPage and reprogramming all of the memory cards in the county, Bond wrote in his request. The voting data on the existing cards would be rendered invalid, Bond wrote. Early voting began Feb. 25.
Attorney Andrew Finko, who represents Corbin, said Monday that suppressing the report is acceptable. Finko said he also expects the clerk to train election judges to direct voters' attention to notices regarding the removal of both candidates.
Finko said signs in several languages should be prominently displayed at all polling places, including in the voting booths.
Jackson, a five-term incumbent, announced on Friday that she would seek write-in votes. But Bond said it was too late to do that.
There will not be a line on the ballot for people to write in a candidate. If they write Jackson's name on the ballot anyway, it will not be counted, he said.
Pope has ended his campaign and is supporting Jackson.