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November 29, 2023

Rantoul Referendum In Hands Of Judge –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On January 27, 2023

Rantoul, IL. (ECWd) –

Residents in the village of Rantoul filed a petition for Referendum seeking to abandon the process of electing village trustees by district (read our article here).

Two objectors filed objections against the referendum petitions alleging that the timing for this new referendum is barred by appellate court decision(s) and language contained within the Illinois Municipal Code stating that “after a village has operated [with district representation] for four years or longer” a referendum may be presented to abandon district representation.

Objectors dispute the timing and filed a petition for judicial review.

A Judge will ultimately decide the lingering question of “When does the clock start?” relating to the “has operated for four years or more” – Did it start when the districting referendum was passed by the voters, or did it start around 2 years later after the village established the districts and held elections to elect trustees by district?

Last week the Rantoul Electoral; Board held a Hearing in which they decided in a 2-1 vote to leave the new referendum on the ballot. (Watch the electoral board hearing HERE).

During today’s status hearing in Champaign County Circuit Court, Judge Benjamin Dyer set an expedited schedule:

  • Noon Jan 31 – Rantoul Electoral Board must submit the board’s records
  • Midnight Jan 31 – Objectors must submit their memorandum of Law
  • 4:30 p.m. Feb 1 – referendum Petitioner must submit reply
  • 10:00 a.m. Feb 2 – In-person Hearing on the Judicial Review in Courtroom F
  • Approved Extended Media Coverage. We will livestream this hearing

During today’s status hearing:

    • Clerk’s attorney, attorney Banach, says lots of work needs to be done, and the last day to change is close of business Feb 2, 2023
    • Clerk assumes referendum will be on the ballot
    • Stay should not happen – because the remedy could be to not count the votes if electoral board decision overturned
    • Attorney Bolin, for Objectors, says it is routine to request a stay so the ballots may be prepared accurately.
    • The objection is still pending thru judicial review
    • Says it is a legal argument
    • Atty Wesner, electoral board, said the board can file the board’s record on file at the beginning of next week (Mon or Tues)
    • He agrees it is a legal argument
    • Mr. Workman (referendum) asks for expedited hearing

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