Metro-East News

This Belleville candidate is unopposed but faces over 20 complaints over his petition to get on ballot

What you need to know about the April 2019 election

The 2019 municipal election is April 2. Here are some key dates and times you need to know if you're planning to vote.
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The 2019 municipal election is April 2. Here are some key dates and times you need to know if you're planning to vote.

In his filing documents to run for re-election, Belleville Ward 7 Alderman Phil Elmore listed his home address as 534 LaFayette Blvd. at least 14 times.

But in two places he did not include “Blvd.” as part of his address.

This lack of uniformity in Elmore’s home address listings and over 20 other complaints about names and addresses in Elmore’s filing documents are included in an objection to his candidacy filed by Bruce Palmer, who wants the Belleville Electoral Board to declare that Elmore does not have enough valid signatures on his petition to be on the ballot for the April 2 election.

Elmore declined to comment on the allegations raised by Palmer. Elmore said he expected to make a statement before the Belleville Electoral Board.

Palmer could not be reached for comment.

“The interest of the Objector is that he wishes to see that the election laws are upheld and that only properly qualified candidates appear on the ballot for the Consolidated April 2, 2019 election,” Palmer wrote in his objection.

The Electoral Board is comprised of Mayor Mark Eckert, City Clerk Jenny Gain Meyer and the longest serving member of City Council, who is Ward 1 Alderman Ken Kinsella. A board hearing for Palmer’s objection is scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday in the City Council chambers.

There are 13 candidates running for City Council, including seven of the eight incumbents whose terms are expiring in April, and Elmore is the only candidate to face an objection. The deadline to file an objection was at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Elmore is the only candidate who filed to run in Ward 7.

Elmore was an alderman from 2009 to 2013 and then was elected in 2015 for a term that ends next spring. He also ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 2013.

To get on the ballot, a candidate must collect signatures from registered voters in the ward. The required number of signatures on the petition is based upon a range of 5 percent to 8 percent of the number of people who voted in the previous ward election.

Since 909 votes were cast in Ward 7 in 2017 when Dennis Weygandt defeated Trent Galetti, Elmore would need to submit 46 to 73 signatures for his 2019 petition.

Elmore submitted 69 signatures.

Palmer’s allegations

Palmer alleges that Elmore did not collect enough valid signatures for his name to be on the Ward 7 ballot.

Elmore submitted eight pages of signatures as part of his nominating petition.

As far as Elmore’s address, Palmer alleges that on two of Elmore’s petition sheets, all 10 signatures on each sheet should be declared “invalid” because the heading on these two sheets did not include “Blvd.” as part of Elmore’s address and thus did not match the heading on six of the other sheets.

For example, on the first and fourth sheets Elmore lists his address as 534 LaFayette on the top of the page but the other six pages have 534 LaFayette Blvd. as his address. However, the bottom section of the first and fourth sheets has “Blvd.” as part of Elmore’s address.

Here are details on three of the over 20 complaints cited by Palmer:

A person who signed Elmore’s seventh petition sheet indicated she lives in the 100 block of Pennsylvania Avenue but Palmer alleges that voter registration records show that she lives in the 300 block of Pennsylvania.

A woman signed her first name as “Terri” on Elmore’s petition but Palmer alleges voter registration records show the person’s first name as “Terese.”

“While ‘Terri’ can be a reasonable nickname for the give name ‘Terese’ it does not match the voter’s signature on the registration record,” Palmer wrote.

A woman who signed Elmore’s sixth petition sheet has a signature that does not have “any similarities” to the signature on the person’s voter registration record, Palmer alleged.

Mike Koziatek joined the Belleville News-Democrat in 1998 as an assistant editor and is now a reporter covering the Belleville area. He graduated from Marquette University in Milwaukee and grew up in St. Louis.