Both candidates for village president are facing challenges from Plainfield residents who say their nominating petitions for the April 9, 2013 election don’t pass muster.
John Ledvina, a resident of the 11000 block of Chesapeake Drive, is challenging Mayor Mike Collins’ statement of candidacy, saying the form filed by the incumbent village present omits language that states that the candidate is “personally known to” the certifying officer.
Collins didn’t return a call from Patch over the weekend.
Ledvina’s objection asserts that the omission “results in a situation whereby a local election official, local election authority, objectors or electoral board are unable to ascertain … that the person appearing before the certifying officer was confirmed, on personal knowledge of the certifying officer, to be the person they represented to be. As a result, the defective certification leads to the possibility of fraud in the electoral process.”
Ledvina could not be reached for comment, but the address listed on his objection form is the same as that of library board candidate Lauren Ledvina, a candidate for the Plainfield Public Library board.
Lauren Ledvina’s nominating forms for the April election also face a challenge, this time filed by Plainfield Park District commissioner Peter Hurtado, whose daughter is seeking a seat on the library board.
READ: Park Board Member Challenging Library Candidates
Meanwhile, Collins’ challenger, Michael Lambert, also faces a fight to stay on the ballot.
Jeffrey Schmitt, of the 14000 block of Capital Drive, filed an objection claiming that Lambert’s nominating petition forms don’t contain the required 104 signatures, stating that only 91 of the 111 signatures collected are valid.
The objection cites alleged violations of Illinois election code, saying the forms contain names of people who are not registered to the addresses given, as well as signatures that are printed — and are therefore not valid.
Other objections claim that some people listed on the forms did not sign themselves or do not list a complete address.
Schmitt also points out an inconsistency, noting that one Plainfield resident signed sheet 7 of the forms, and is listed as the person who circulated pages 5 and 10 of the nominating petitions. While the address is listed as 23615 W. Ash St. on page 7, it appears as 23618 W. Ash St. on the other two pages, according to the objection, which asks that pages 5 and 10 be stricken entirely.
Schmitt also alleges that another petition circulator possibly allowed one person to sign or print another person’s name.
Schmitt, who said he does not know Lambert personally, said he’s not looking to attack the candidate.
“As a voter in this town … I think it’s important that we know who the candidates are and that they’re not breaking the law from the start,” he said.
Schmitt noted that this isn’t the first time he’s filed an objection to a candidate’s nominating forms.
In 2009, village trustee hopeful Jesse Maggitt was removed from the ballot after Schmitt challenged some of the signatures on his petitions.
Lambert did not immediately respond to a message from Patch on Saturday.
Trustee candidate also faces challenge
Plainfield developer Mike Guinta also faces a challenge from Schmitt, who maintains that only 85 of the 143 signatures on the candidate’s nominating petitions are valid.
Schmitt’s objection claims that the forms contain the names of people who are not registered voters at the addresses shown, as well as people who do not reside within the village limits and signatures that are printed instead of signed.
He once again alleges that several of the individuals listed on the forms did not sign themselves and did not complete their addresses.
Schmitt also notes what he believes was a gaffe of Guinta’s, saying several pages list the date of the election as April 9, 2003. He also claims that the candidate is not a registered voter at the address given on the forms.
The electoral boards have until noon on Tuesday to set a hearing to review the challenges.
Electoral board members overseeing the challenges to the village president candidates are village trustees Paul Fay and Jim Racich, and clerk Michelle Gibas.
Collins, Fay and Gibas will oversee the challenge to Guinta’s petitions.
Gibas said the hearings are tentatively scheduled for Friday, Jan. 11.
Lambert Challenges Collins in Village President Race; 5 Vie for 3 Plainfield Trustee Seats