Posted Online: Dec. 11, 2012, 10:40 pm

Electoral board continues signature challenge

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By Eric Timmons, etimmons@qconline.com

A hearing into a challenge to the candidacy of Paula Rummels in Rock Island's mayoral election has been continued by the city's electoral board until next week.

Ronald Day, a retired Rock Island resident, has challenged Ms. Rummels' nomination papers, alleging she did not collect enough eligible signatures to be on the April 9, 2013, ballot.Rock Island mayoral candidates must collect 322 signatures from Rock Island residents to get on the ballot.

Mr. Day alsoalleges some of Ms. Rummels' petition sheets were not properly notarized and some signatures were printed, bringing their legitimacy into question.

The three-member electoral board convened Tuesday at Rock Island City Hall and decided to continue the hearing at 6 p.m. Dec. 18 to allow Ms. Rummels' attorney, Lauren Yates, to prepare her case.

Mr. Day was represented Tuesday by Rock Island attorney Thomas Benson, who represented mayoral candidate David Levin during the 2009 election recount that ended with Mayor Dennis Pauley winning the race by a drawing. Mr. Levin plans to run for Rock Island mayor again in 2013.

Ms. Yates said Ms. Rummels initially presented 333 signatures but, upon review, reduced that number to 325 after discovering some signatures had addresses outside Rock Island.

Mr. Day has filed 12 objections to Ms. Rummels' candidacy, includingallegations that some petition signatures appeared twice and some petition sheets had "headings that are different from one another," which he contends violates state law.

Some petitions also contained signatures of people who were not registered voters at the addresses given on the petitions, Mr. Day's objection states.

Ald. David Conroy, 2nd Ward, chaird Tuesday's election board meeting for Mayor Pauley, who also is a candidate in the 2013 mayoral election. Other election board members areAld. Terry Brooks, 1st Ward, and Rock Island City Clerk Aleisha Patchin.

The three agreed to continue the hearing after Ms. Yates requested more time to study the case and call witnesses. The board also asked Mr. Benson to return with more details on Mr. Day's allegations of state law violations.

Rick Cassini joins Ms. Rummels, Mr. Levin and Mayor Pauley as Rock Island mayoral candidates next year.