DuPage Co. (ECWd) -
During the petition objection hearing last Tuesday at the College of DuPage, the Electoral Board offered one of the candidates and opposing counsel the opportunity to prepare a legal brief that would point to case law on the matter before the board. Specifically, the board is addressing the petitions filed by Husna Ghani and the lack of page numbers on her petitions.
It appears Ms. Ghani was not in the same hearing as I was. In her response to the board's request, she states certain things that did not take place during the hearing and instead of providing legal cases to support her position that not numbering her petition pages is not a fatal error, she cites language from a Social Justice Journal.
"The argument by the Objector states again that the candidate did not specify the term of candidacy for which the elected board term of the office was sought. At the hearing on Tuesday, January 10, 2017, this objection was in fact overruled because the original receipt stating the name of the office sought and the two year term was given by the office of the Electoral Board and was presented to the Electoral Board at the hearing and was duly noted and accepted by all parties."
A review of the video from that meeting reflects, contrary to her claim of fact, nothing was overruled. It appears she is taking the position that since the board was presented something and placed the information into the record, doing so constitutes an acceptance of her position and a silent overruling of the objection presented.
"A reasonable person will agree that failing to number an eight page document does not compromise the integrity of this election. As argued in the DePaul Journal of Social Justice, Spring 2013"
I read the document she points to and no such statement is argued but don't take my word, read it for yourself. Word search it and you will find very quickly that what this candidate has done is draw a conclusion from an agency's opinion. In addition, her comment implies that our higher courts are not reasonable people since they have ruled contrary to her position. That is troubling for a person wanting to lead a higher education institution.
I am not sure what a Social Justice Journal has to do with case law but rest assured, the higher courts have been consistent and reasonable on the matter of page numbering. More importantly, what she refers to as a DePaul Journal of Social Justice argument, turns out it is not even written by the DePaul Journal of Social Justice. They published a paper written by the Citizens Advocacy Center and you can view that document, as published in the DePaul Journal of Social Justice, Spring 2013 at this link.
Even more disturbing is a statement in the document she refers to; "As quasi-judicial bodies, electoral boards have the authority to hear sworn witnesses, formally accept evidence, issue subpoenas, and render decisions based on law and fact." (see page 6)
Illinois law is clear on quasi-judicial bodies and an electoral board is not one. As outlined in the open meetings act; "Quasi-adjudicative body" means an administrative body charged by law or ordinance with the responsibility to conduct hearings, receive evidence or testimony and make determinations based thereon, but does not include local electoral boards when such bodies are considering petition challenges."
May we suggest searching case law and election law to make your argument as it appears the Social Justice Journal contains outdated material when it comes to electoral boards
"However, in the hearing on Tuesday, January 10, 2017, the Objector was allowed to edit paperwork that was already previously submitted."
The objector pointed out scrivener's error in the filing and the board took note of that error. At no time during the hearing that we attended did we see, nor did the video capture, the objector being allowed to edit paperwork.
"The two-year term seat is being sought by two individuals. If one name is withdrawn, due to a technical oversight, then there would only be one person running for that office. In this case, it would not be a true “running for office” but instead would be an uncontested election. Therefore this would result in an automatic placement without the procedural of a true democratic process."
She refers to her fatal errors, not numbering her pages and not identifying the term of office she is seeking, as a technical oversight. May we suggest she read her Social Justic Journal again?
"The signature sheets must be bound securely and numbered consecutively." (See page 12)
"Some of the provisions in the Election Code have been interpreted to be clear requirements for which wholesale disregard will defeat a nomination or petition for referendum." (See page 18)
The courts have deemed not numbering ANY pages a fatal error, not a technical oversight. She also implies that if an elected position is not contested it somehow means the person who is on the ballot is not actually "running for office". She then implies such an uncontested seat is obtained without the "procedural of a true democratic process".
We suggest Ms. Ghani read our Federalist papers, our Constitution, Illinois Election Law, and case law on the subject at hand. Doing so will provide a wealth of knowledge about this great country which is a Constitutional Republic, not a democracy.
She closes her 4-page letter with an interesting statement in the last paragraph;
"Therefore I humbly request that you consider these facts when rendering your decision."
Facts? I'm not sure what "facts" she is referring to but a few things are clear, she did not provide the case law sought by the Electoral Board.
During this particular hearing a local democrat raised the question as to why the only objections were those of two Muslim women and insinuated there was a lack of transparency at the College of DuPage. (See 13:24 mark of the video) Not sure what transparency has to do with members of their party getting on the ballot but it does lead me to a question of my own.
How is it that the Democrats managed to gather enough signatures for a white male, Dan Markwell, but not enough for the two Muslim women? DuPage Democrat Chair Robert Peickert notarized all of the petitions for Ghani and apparently provided no input on the importance of her numbering her pages. The other candidate who withdrew claimed to have the assistance of a Democrat County Board member. May I suggest these people look within for their failings as it relates to proper election documents instead of trying to insinuate the objections were based on religion.
I reviewed all of the petitions turned in and although I found errors with others, I only wrote about those that had fatal errors. I had no clue what their religion was as that is not listed on any of the documents, nor does it matter!
Below is the full response candidate Ghani has submitted regarding her petitions and the objections to them.
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