Election fight not over for Glendale Heights village president

Glendale Heights Village President Linda Jackson is continuing her quest for a sixth term, even though the Illinois Supreme Court removed her from Tuesday's ballot.

Jackson has asked the high court to reconsider the decision it made last Friday, where it said Jackson didn't have enough valid signatures on her candidate petition to be included.

Mike Ontiveroz appears to have won the village president race. As of Wednesday, he had a 57-vote lead over Chodri Ma Khokhar with 877 votes counted, according to unofficial results from the DuPage County clerk's office.

"I don't think it is over yet," Jackson said Wednesday. "There are hundreds of voters who are absolutely livid because their right to vote was taken from them."

Jackson is asking the court to order the county clerk to include all the votes she received on ballots that were cast before the ruling, as well as write-in votes cast after the ruling, in the tabulation for the race.

Because the court's ruling was made just days before the election, it was too late to physically remove Jackson's name from the ballot. There also was no line on the ballot for write-in votes.

Jackson filed as a write-in even though the deadline to do so had passed. On Tuesday, the court ordered that votes cast for Jackson not be reported.

Meanwhile, DuPage election officials are still counting mail-in ballots, which must be returned by April 20 to be included in the final results.

The state Supreme Court has not set a date for deciding whether it will reconsider the case.

"To lose an election fairly, I don't have a problem," Jackson said. "I don't feel I lost."

On Wednesday afternoon, Ontiveroz declined to answer questions over the phone. He said he was planning to respond to questions via email.

Jackson was first elected as a village trustee in 1991 and served in that role until being appointed acting village president in 1999. She won her first full term as village president in 2001.

Mickey Jeneski, Jackson's former campaign manager, called the court's decision "a cheap shot." Jeneski said she has lived in Glendale Heights for 45 years and met Jackson in the 1980s.

When Jeneski voted Tuesday, she wrote Jackson's name on the ballot, drew a square and inked it in.

Glendale Heights officials won't be sworn in until after the village receives a certified copy of the election results. The next scheduled village board meeting where that is possible is May 6.

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