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Judge sets hearing for Friday on Normal petition challenge

From left, Normal City Clerk Angie Huonker, Mayor and Electoral Board chair Chris Koos, and town attorney Brian Day at Monday's meeting.
Ryan Denham
From left, Normal City Clerk Angie Huonker, Mayor and Electoral Board chair Chris Koos, and town attorney Brian Day at an August hearing of the town's electoral board.

A petitioner who has challenged the Town of Normal's Electoral Board over a rejected ballot question will get her day in court.

McLean County circuit judge Scott Kording has scheduled a Zoom hearing for Friday morning in the case, according to court records.

David Shestokas, an attorney for petitioner Kathy Siracuse, wants the court to toss out the electoral board's ruling that rejected a voter referendum on the question of whether the town should elect its council members at-large, or by district.

The electoral board, headed by Mayor Chris Koos, ruled last month the question can only be asked of villages, not of towns like Normal.

In a brief filed with town officials before an Aug. 26 deadline, Shestokas claimed the Illinois Supreme Court has "since at least 1877" considered the wording of towns and villages as interchangeable, or the equivalent of each other. He claimed because Normal does not have an elected treasurer or an assessor, among other positions, the municipality is technically a village under state law. If it claims to be an incorporated town, which he said would require those positions, then it has been "operating illegally since 1985."

Patrick Dullard, who objected to the petitions, argued the question could not be legally asked, and also said a number of collected signatures for the ballot question were invalid.

A second in-person hearing is scheduled for Sept. 23.

Early voting begins in Illinois on Sept. 29.

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Eric Stock is the News Director at WGLT. You can contact Eric at ejstoc1@ilstu.edu.
Lyndsay Jones is a reporter at WGLT. She joined the station in 2021. You can reach her at lljone3@ilstu.edu.
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