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Bloomington Board of Election Commissioners Robert Felton, left, Denise Williams, center, and Tim Mitchell, right, review rules of procedure in a meeting Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018, at the Government Center in downtown Bloomington. They agreed to reschedule the hearing for Monday to review Bloomington City Council candidate Julie Emig's nominating petitions.

BLOOMINGTON — An objection filed over Bloomington City Council candidate Julie Emig's nominating petitions will be heard next week because she was unable to attend a Bloomington Board of Election Commissioners hearing Tuesday.

The three-member board agreed to reschedule the hearing on the objection filed Nov. 27 by Bloomington resident Regina Noland to noon Monday. 

Chairman Denise Williams said Emig emailed that she had a work conflict. Rules adopted for this challenge allow for such rescheduling if someone shows good cause, "and Julie does have a very good case," said Williams.

Emig, an instructional assistant professor for Illinois State University, could not attend because she was administering final presentations for two classes she teaches, said Williams.

"Because it is a final assessment she can't arrange for a substitute," added Williams. 

If the challenge is successful, 45 signatures could be thrown out, leaving Emig with 77 signatures. BEC paperwork shows a minimum of 90 signatures need to be submitted to run in Ward 4 in the April 2 election.

Emig and insurance broker Don "Chip" Frank were the only candidates to file for the seat held by Alderman Amelia Buragas, who is not seeking a second term.

In a written response to the objection, Jeff Brown, Emig's attorney, characterized the oversight as "minor and merely technical in nature."

The petitions were signed by a notary and the spaces that were left blank identify where the notarization process took place, he added.

"In this matter, there is no allegation that there was any deficiency in the notary commission or in the notarization process," contended Brown. 

"Indeed, the notary seal that is affixed to each page of the nominating papers establishes that the notaries in question are commissioned within the state of Illinois, in compliance with the requirements of the Election Code."

Brown further contended the objection should be denied because Noland has not established that the alleged error is violation of the election law.

"Even if the error is substantiated it is merely technical in nature and the nominating papers substantially comply with the legal requirement," Brown contended.

Others circulating petitions for Emig were Jeff Crabill, a candidate for the Ward 8 council seat; Mayor Tari Renner; and Shayna Watchinski, who recently was elected to the McLean County Board.

Noland, a resident of Ward 4, said her objection was important "because the paperwork needs to be filled out correctly, and it was Julie's responsibility.

"If she can't oversee signatures to run for the ward how can she effectively oversee the whole ward?" Noland told reporters after Tuesday's meeting.

Noland said she also checked Frank's petitions and they appeared to be in order.

The others who filed by the Nov. 26 deadline were, in alphabetical order: Donna Boelen, Jenn Carrillo, Georgene Chissell, Crabill, incumbent Karen Schmidt and Travis Wilson.

Contact Maria Nagle at (309) 820-3244. Follow her on Twitter: @Pg_Nagle


Bloomington Reporter

Bloomington reporter for The Pantagraph.

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