PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — One candidate has been removed from the ballot after two hearings related to local school board elections Tuesday.
During the hearing in Peoria, Keisha Alexander will be removed from the ballot for Peoria School Board District 1 due to not having 200 valid signatures.
Alexander and her opponent, Board President Martha Ross, both filed challenges to each other’s petition signatures on Dec. 27, 2022.
During the hearing, Peoria’s Election Commission struck 135 of Alexander’s signatures. 82 were struck due to general errors and 53 were struck due to clerical errors. This left Alexander with only 189 of the 200 signatures she needed to stay on the ballot.
Alexander can still be written in as a candidate.
The election committee dismissed the challenge against Ross due to it being submitted by Chama St. Louis, who lives outside the district.
There will be another hearing on Jan. 6.
In Bloomington, the McLean County Electoral Board voted against two objections for candidates in the Unit 5 School Board elections.
Dennis Frank had filed an objection against Alex Williams saying Williams turned in an incomplete form. Brad Wurth had also filed an objection against Mark Stephen Adams II saying Adams filled out an incorrect form.
The board ruled that objections were invalid because the objectors failed to put their address of residency on the forms.
“Not having a certain part in the objections really nullified the entire process so they weren’t completed properly and thus we couldn’t continue,” said McLean County Clerk, Kathy Michael.
Michael said due to this, the three person board made up of herself, the circuit clerk and a member of the state’s attorney’s office had no other choice but to deny the objections validity meaning no one will be removed from the April ballot.
“That’s where the fine line of statutes comes in; some can be interpreted different ways, this was very adamantly written that it had to be adhered to,” Michael said.
WMBD spoke to Brad Wurth following the board’s decision. He said to his knowledge an address wasn’t required on the objection form.
“Did our address need to be on the objection forms, maybe it did, maybe it didn’t from the documentation we had,” Wurth said.
Wurth had objected to Mark Stephen Adams’ candidacy, arguing Adams filled out an incorrect form.
“That particular petition probably has the requirements that would be necessary and again it is a valid petition, just for other forms of office,” Wurth said.
Wurth said he has no plans on appealing the decision to the courts and wishes his opponents nothing but the best during the campaign.
“I think the ability to at least air the grievance, make sure that the community knows that hey something was wrong here and we spoke up and said this didn’t look right. Was it bad enough for them to get thrown off, probably wouldn’t have been anyway,” Wurth said.
At this time, all candidates will remain on the Unit 5 Ballots.
In April, voters residing within the McLean County Unit 5 School district will vote for four candidates.