William Arndt, who contributed to the mayoral campaign of Alderman Brian Miller, objected to the requests of all the other candidates for mayor to be allowed on the ballot. I feel that none of the issues raised rises to a level serious enough to deny ballot access to the candidates and to the many voters who signed the candidates’ petitions.
The voters expect, requested, and deserve a choice for mayor. The volunteers who collected signatures deserve to have their work respected. I voted, along with Alderman Ann Rainey and City Clerk Greene, to allow all five candidates to be on the ballot, providing Evanston voters with a choice as to who should be our mayor.
I appreciate this opportunity to explain my vote and what I think we ought to do to improve this process.
Filing for elective office in Evanston has become far too complex. Four years ago I did not know if my petitions should be filled out on form A or form D. I consulted two election attorneys and received two different answers.
Our City attorney is not allowed to respond to candidate’s questions, so when I asked him, he could not respond. Now the date of the election, whether to have or not to have a primary, filing deadlines, and a host of other questions have been raised.
No one should have to be an attorney or hire an attorney in order to run for office in Evanston.
After the first round of objections, Jeff Smith, another candidate for mayor, filed his objections to the four other candidates’ nomination papers. Again, my feeling is that none of the issues raised rises to a level serious enough to deny ballot access to the candidates and to the many voters who signed the candidate’s petitions.
I voted with Alderman Rainey and Clerk Greene to allow all five candidates to be on the ballot.
The vote to keep Mr. Devon Reid on the ballot for City Clerk was more difficult for technical reasons, but then again we voted for ballot access.
After this election cycle concludes, it is appropriate for our City attorney to work with the City Clerk to resolve the issues raised by Alderman Miller and Mr. Smith.
I have asked that that be done. Our election process needs to be clear, fair, and as easy as possible.
We should encourage people to run.
We can do much better, and we will.