“I don’t think I could have been more victorious,” Barrington Hills resident Sharon Meroni told me after the the conclusion of her challenge to Independent judicial candidate Sally Wiggin’s candidacy.
“I have respect for her for doing that (revealing a copy of her birth certificate),” Meroni added.
“I have no problem disclosing that I was actually born in Harvard.
“I’m proud to have been born in the USA.
“By doing that she no longer has a forum that should be decided in Springfield.”
In her statements to the McHenry County Officials Officers Board, Meroni expressed her frustration on not being able to find a way to verify that those running for public office were actually citizens.
She related how McHenry County Clerk Kathie Schultz had told her how the voter registration process does not check to verify citizenship.
In a court suit trying to require candidates to reveal their birth certificates, Meroni learned that the place to make that objection was during the five-day petition challenge period after candidacy filing.
That’s was Meroni did this year.
Meeting with an Illinois State Board of Elections hearing officer, they both agreed that her challenge had nothing to do with whether the number of signatures filed were enough. It was strictly whether the candidates challenged were United States citizens.
Meroni thought that presentation of birth certificates would be the way to go.
When one applies for a passport, one has to provide an original birth certificate. (Someday, I’ll write the story of how my son and wife got a passport, but how I was initially rejected, even though I provided my birth certificate.)
So, to get back in the country one needs more evidence of citizenship than to run for office to govern other citizens.
Wiggins offered up a copy of her birth certificate, filed in the McHenry County Clerk’s Office, in a motion to dismiss Meroni’s objection. She also noted that she had signed a notarized Loyalty Oath, which states that she is “citizen of the United States.
When the hearing got to the point of Meroni’s being asked to offer evidence, she stated what anyone who had taken a logic course would offer:
“I’m asked to prove the negative…an impermissible barrier…”
Some elements of the media have treated Meroni, who admits to having been on the TEA Party Express, where “nobody knows” one does not have to prove citizenship to run for public office.
Her goal is to have all candidates have to provide they are citizens, either born here or naturalized. I imagine this was inspired by President Barack Obama’s unwillingness to let people view his paper birth certificate.
Before the hearing reached the evidentiary stage, Wiggins, Meroni and Wiggins’ attorney Margo Ely conferred behind closed doors.
But, Wiggins did not share the contents of the motion to dismiss behind closed doors.
“I didn’t know she had posted her birth certificate.
“Now that’s she’s done that, I say she really complied with my request.
“She has cooperated in such a wonderful way.”
Hearing Officer Don Leist then asked,
“Do you wish to withdraw your objection?”
“Based on her having tendered her birth certificate, I withdraw my petition.” Meroni said.
Serving on the hearing board were County Clerk Schultz, Circuit Clerk Katherine Keefe and Assistant State’s Attorney Tom Carroll.
Other reporters in the room were the First Electric Newspaper’s Pete Gonigam, the Daily Herald’s Chuck Keeshan and Iris Bryan of the Town Crier.