DANVILLE — The Vermilion County Officers Electoral Board decided Thursday that an independent candidate for the county board should not be listed on the Nov. 6 ballot, because she did not have the 45 signatures required on her nominating petitions.
Hau Swearingen of Danville had filed as an independent candidate for county board District 9. There are three seats up for election this fall in that district, and the only ones to file, besides Swearingen, are the three incumbent Democratic candidates, Bruce Stark, Larry Davis and Vermilion County Board Chairman Jim McMahon.
But Louise Kain, also a Danville resident, filed an objection to Swearingen's candidacy, claiming that 53 of the 83 signatures on Swearingen's nominating petitions were not valid. Kain is the sister of McMahon.
After two continuations of the hearing, the electoral board listened to comments Thursday morning from attorneys representing Swearingen and Kain, and then reviewed the 83 names, addresses and signatures on Swearingen's petitions and compared them with voter registration records. Their review was done in the presence of Swearingen and Kain's attorney.
Vermilion County Clerk Lynn Foster, one of the three members of the electoral board, said 51 of the 53 objections were sustained, leaving Swearingen with 32 valid signatures. And 45 are required to be listed on the ballot as an independent candidate for county board in District 9.
Of the 51 signatures that were found invalid, Foster said, some were disqualified because they are not registered voters. Another was a registered voter, but not in District 9. Some were registered voters, but not at the address they listed on the petition.
And, Foster said, there were a lot of signatures that did not match their signatures on voter registration cards.