Ryan Moore said he will not appeal the ruling that removed his name from the April 4 ballot in the Belleville treasurer’s race but instead will run as a write-in candidate against incumbent Dean Hardt.
Hardt successfully argued before the city’s electoral board on Jan. 12 that Moore did not have enough valid signatures to remain on the ballot.
Moore said he talked to attorneys about appealing the electoral board’s decision but decided against that because after filing an appeal with the circuit court, he then might have to go to the appellate court in Mount Vernon and then to the state Supreme Court. That route would be time-consuming and expensive, Moore said.
I expected him to run as a write-in and look forward to the April 4, 2017 election letting the voters decide as to who they believe is the best person for the office of treasurer is.
Belleville Treasurer Dean Hardt
“That was a lot of investment of time and money that I didn’t think was necessary when I could just jump in and do this write-in candidacy,” Moore said.
Hardt was elected treasurer in 2013 while he was serving as an alderman.
“I expected him to run as a write-in and look forward to the April 4, 2017, election letting the voters decide as to who they believe the best person for the office of treasurer is,” Hardt said.
Moore said he has never run for public office before this campaign.
“I still believe that the citizens deserve an opportunity to make a choice,” Moore said about his write-in campaign. “They shouldn’t have to be forced to pick just from one person.”
Candidates who want to run as a write-in candidate need to file their request with the St. Clair County Clerk’s office in order for their votes to be counted. Moore filed his request Wednesday and the deadline for write-in candidates to file is next Thursday.
For a Moore vote to be counted, a person needs to fill in the oval next to the blank line on the ballot for Belleville treasurer and then write in Moore’s name on the line. Moore said he might not know on election night how many write-in votes he received.
I still believe that the citizens deserve an opportunity to make a choice. They shouldn’t have to be forced to pick just from one person.
Ryan Moore, who will run as a write-in candidate for Belleville treasurer
“It’s an easy name so hopefully it makes it easier for people to remember it and write it in,” Moore said.
Hardt challenged Moore’s petition to be on the ballot.
Hardt said Moore needed 328 valid signatures based on 5 percent of the people who voted in 2013 during the last citywide treasurer’s election. But Moore said he only needed 221 signatures based on 5 percent of the people who voted in the last city election, which was in 2015 when aldermen were elected to the City Council.
Both Moore and Hardt stipulated at the beginning of the electoral board’s hearing that Moore had 274 valid signatures.
The electoral board, which was comprised of Mayor Mark Eckert, Ward 6 Alderman Paul Seibert and Belleville Township Trustee Joe Hubbard, voted 3-0 to remove Moore from the ballot. They based their decision on an appellate court ruling in 1981 involving the city of Des Plaines that showed cities such as Belleville should base the number of signatures needed for a treasurer’s petition based on the number of people who voted in the last treasurer’s election.
Moore acknowledged that running as a write-in candidate can be difficult but he noted that an Alaskan candidate won as a write-in. Indeed, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, won a U.S. Senate race as a write-in candidate in 2010.