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Author : Ralyn
Article ID : 26
Audience : Default
Version 1.00
Published Date: 2010/8/31 22:07:41
Reads : 483

By BERNARD SCHOENBURG
Posted Aug 30, 2010 @ 11:30 PM

Barring any changes due to court action, there will be four candidates for the U.S. Senate and five for governor on Illinois’ Nov. 2 ballot.

Randy Stufflebeam of Belleville, who filed to be the Constitution Party candidate for U.S. Senate, hopes the courts will order his party to be listed on ballots, reversing last week’s decision by the State Board of Elections.

Stufflebeam and the Constitution candidates’ lawyer, Doug Ibendahl of Chicago, said they expect to go to court by Wednesday.

Meanwhile, however, the candidates certified to the ballot include:

*U.S. Senate: Republican Mark Kirk; Democrat Alexi Giannoulias; Green Party candidate LeAlan Jones; and Libertarian Party candidate Mike Labno.

Those names will actually be listed in two ballot positions. One contest is for a six-year term, and one is for a candidate to finish the remaining weeks of the unexpired term won in 2004 by now-President Barack Obama. That means voters will be able to vote twice for U.S. Senate. The winner in the race for the unexpired term will take over for U.S. Sen. Roland Burris, D-Ill., who was appointed by former Gov. Rod Blagojevich to Obama’s seat, but wasn’t allowed on the Nov. 2 ballot.

*Governor: Republican Bill Brady, Democrat Pat Quinn, Green Party candidate Rich Whitney, Libertarian Lex Green, independent Scott Lee Cohen.

Stufflebeam and Ibendahl blamed the Republican Party for the Constitutionalists’ ouster.

Illinois Republican chairman Pat Brady confirmed Monday that his organization was involved in objections to various candidates.

“Our lawyers were working on it,” Brady said. “Our position is, as a party, we have to preserve the integrity of the ballot.”

Brady said it would be unfair to characterize such involvement as a way to protect, for example, GOP governor candidate Brady (who is not related to the party chairman) from losing votes to other conservatives, thus helping Democratic Gov. Quinn.

“Certainly, if there is somebody else on the ballot, it’s a potential that they could take votes away from you or the other side. But … we didn’t calculate it that way.” He also said about 450 “apparently forged signatures” were found on the Constitution Party petitions.

Ibendahl, who was general counsel for the state GOP from 1998 to 2001, called the forgery allegations “a bunch of nonsense.”

“As a Republican, I’m appalled at what my party is doing,” Ibendahl said. “I think a little healthy competition would be a good thing for Republicans.”

Stufflebeam said his party turned in nearly 33,000 petition sigatures. After a check of election records during the objection process, that was reduced to 25,017, he said – 17 more than the number of valid signatures needed for a third-party candidate.

But with allegations of “patterns of fraud” made in the party’s direction, Stufflebeam said, the State Board of Elections members reduced the number of valid signatures to a little more than 22,000.

One argument Constitution candidates could make, Stufflebeam said, is that two of the objectors listed on the challenge to their signatures were merely fronting for the state GOP as “conduit objectors.”

Read Full Article: The State Journal-Register

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