Third-party 13th District candidate removed from ballot
SPRINGFIELD — Third-party candidate Josh Dill of Springfield had his name removed from the 13th Congressional District ballot Friday by the State Board of Elections.
That means that Democrat Ann Callis of Edwardsville will be the only challenger to U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, in the congressional district that includes Champaign-Urbana and stretches all the way to Edwardsville and Collinsville in southwestern Illinois.
A board of elections hearing officer recommended earlier that Dill's name be stricken from the ballot because he submitted only 232 of the required 15,205 valid signatures needed to get on it.
Dill was running as a member of the newly formed Lincoln Liberty Party, and his candidacy was challenged by Republican Andrew Carruthers of Edwardsville.
Also Friday, the board of elections voted to place the Libertarian Party's statewide slate of candidates on the ballot, but not the Green or Constitution parties' picks. That means that only the Democratic, Republican and Libertarian parties will have full slates of candidates for governor and other statewide offices.
The elections board upheld a ruling by a hearing officer that only 22,663 signatures of the 29,687 signatures submitted on candidacy petitions for the Green Party were valid. It likewise ruled that the Constitution Party didn't have the 25,000 petitions signatures required.
But a challenge to the Libertarian Party's petitions — including an assertion that it was "implausible" that one paid petition-passer could have gathered nearly 4,000 signatures alone on behalf of the party — was rejected. The board of elections said that the party's petitions contained 25,989 valid signatures.
"Sarah Dart (of Chicago) was a prodigious circulator," said John Fogarty, a Chicago attorney who objected to the Libertarians' petitions. "In a span of just six weeks from March 31 to May 14, she submitted and had notarized 3,790 signatures. That's a lot of signatures. If you break that down to what you have to do daily to achieve that number, you'd have to do 90 signatures a day every day for six weeks, counting holidays, counting weekends.
"In short, it's an implausible amount."
But the board voted to uphold a hearing officer's finding that the signatures and petitions were valid.
Meanwhile, Dill said he will no longer pursue his congressional candidacy but may run for the Legislature in the Springfield area.
"I knew this was coming but I wanted to hear the elections board and see how the process went," he said. "Look, the Constitution Party and the Green Party are turning in 40,000 or 30,000 signatures and they're still getting objected to. The next time I run, I want to be prepared for how the process goes.
"I feel that we corral ourselves in the delusion of a democracy here and that we don't really have a freedom of choice when you only have two choices."
Two years ago in the 13th District, Davis won a three-way race over Democrat David Gill and independent John Hartman with just 46.5 percent of the vote. Gill has insisted since that he would have won the seat if Hartman hadn't been on the ballot.