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Government

Letter of Law vs. Ballot Access in Moline

It's the letter of the law versus the right of candidates to access the ballot. For three hours Tuesday morning, the Moline Electoral Board heard testimony and arguments about whether four candidates should be allowed to run for office.

Their nominating petition pages are not numbered, so Mayor Scott Raes objected to mayoral candidates Bob Vogelbaugh and Stephanie Acri being on the ballot.

Moline City Clerk, Tracy Koranda
Credit Michelle O'Neill / WVIK News
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WVIK News
Moline City Clerk, Tracy Koranda

His attorney, Robert Alvine, says Illinois law mandates each page be numbered, and it spells out the consequences if they aren't. And each of the four candidates testified that they failed to number their pages.

Attorney David Andich represents 4th Ward Ald., John Zelnio, and At-large alderman candidate, Sonia Berg. He says the underlying principle in these four cases is the right of candidates to access the ballet. "In the case of John Zelnio, is there any doubt what's page one? What's page two? What's page three? We should use that law to throw him off? When there's not confusion. Everybody here knows what's page one, two, three. And the same's true for Sonia Berg."

Sonia Berg, candidate for at-large alderman
Credit Michelle O'Neill / WVIK News
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WVIK News
Sonia Berg, candidate for at-large alderman

Andich asked the Moline Electoral Board to consider the small number of pages involved, and that past court cases show judges recognize the unfairness of throwing candidates off the ballot because of technical mistakes.

The three-member board is set to meet Thursday morning at 8:00, and may rule on the challenges. 

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