The last traction I saw for the birth certificate issue was when Chris Matthews asked why President Barack Obama didn’t just make his public.
It was raised locally by McHenry County resident Sharon Maroni when she challenged Sally Wiggins, Independent candidate for Judge, based on Wiggins’ not haven proven she was a citizen.
During a Woodstock hearing in which it appeared that Wiggins was fighting the request, Maroni dropped her election challenge after Wiggins showed her Harvard Hospital birth certificate.
But Maroni still has something going in Springfield.
Representing herself in the Circuit Court of Judge Peter Cavanagh, she sued the Illinois State Board of Elections for dismissing her election challenge to 32 candidates “without presentation of evidence” because “she failed to adequately identify her grounds for objection.”
Now attorney Steve Boulton has signed onto the case. He is with McCarthy Duffy in Chicago.
In his appellate court brief he notes that this is a de novo issue, meaning that it has not been considered before in Illinois. He points out that this state assumes someone is a citizen and a resident if a candidate files petitions and a Statement of Candidacy, that no further proof is required.
After the petition filing, it is up to objectors to disprove the statements made by a candidate.
“The candidate’s petitions are insufficient because they fail to demonstrate and/or provide documentation that the candidate meets the constitutional requirements for office,”
is what Maroni submitted to the State Board of Elections.
Attorney Boulton points out that those unrelated to another cannot obtain their birth certificates.
Seventeen of the candidates to whose candidacy Maroni filed objections asked for dismissal by the Elections Board. Another twelve filed appearances or didn’t, but no filed no motions.
In her response, Maroni pointed out,
“The objection refers to qualifications specifically mandated in the U.S. And Illinois Constitution to be eligible for office or to register to vote. These include citizenship, age, residency requirements and Public Disclosure Act.
“The objector has a fundamental interest and right to a ballot that has constitutionally qualified candidates.
“The objector has a right to know by what definition Illinois uses to define legally qualified on the statement of Candidacy for all positions.
“Without proof of citizenship, during the 5-day objection period, the electorate lacks sufficient information to judge the veracity of a candidate.
“That During the 5-day period, the absence of any public documents establishing constitutional qualifications available to her, deprives the Objector the opportunity to challenge contestants on the ballot based on evidence.
“The Statement of Candidacy requires the signatory to affirm ‘legally qualified’ to hold such office without clear definitions or public records proving affirmations of legally qualified. These subjective statements deny the voter the opportunity to assess the veracity of that claim…
“While evidence of eligibility exists in the public record for other qualifications required for legally qualified, it does not for citizenship.”
Maroni points out that vote registration rolls “do not verify citizenship.”
Her original suit claimed,
“Without public record, there is no remedy at law when a candidate lies on their application, Illinois and federal law is vague and ambiguous as to the meaning of ‘legally qualified to hold office.’ Law enforcement generally does not get involved. There is not way for a citizen to find redress.”
Reasoning that Maroni’s complaints did not “state fully the nature of the objections” or “state what relief is requested of the Electoral Board,” the Board, composed of half Republicans and half Democrats, dismissed all of Maroni’s complaints.
After she lost, she filed a request for administrative review by the Sangamon County Court.
Part 2 tomorrow. Go to it here.