East St. Louis election officials have received new ballots, without the name of incumbent Mayor Alvin Parks, and have begun mailing them to absentee voters.
Kandrise Mosby, director of the city’s election board, said the new ballots came in Monday, and her staff began mailing them to absentee voters the same day. Mosby said more than 3,000 ballots need to be mailed to absentee voters.
The Illinois Supreme Court ruled earlier this month that Parks’ name cannot be on the ballot because he failed to obtain enough signatures from voters on his candidacy petitions.
Parks now is running as a write-in candidate. The other candidates are Emeka Jackson-Hicks, who sought the court ruling, and Courtney Hoffman.
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Some absentee voters have already sent in their ballots. Mosby said if those voters choose not to send in a reprinted ballot, their original ballots will be counted — but any votes for Parks on those old ballots will not be counted.
Parks turned in candidacy petitions with 171 signatures, but only 123 of them were determined to be from registered voters. He needed 136 signatures.
“The unfortunate part for me was that any vote cast for me was nullified, which was and is disenfranchisement,” Parks said. “But, at least the citizens have another opportunity to cast their votes for me. They just have to do so in the write-in fashion.”
The election is April 7.