Parnarauskis awaits decision

By Kathleen Foody

The Socialist Equality Party filed for a court order this morning to compel the Illinois State Board of Elections to rule on the candidacy of Joe Parnarauskis, the party’s candidate for the 52nd State Senate District, Parnarauskis said.

He said the campaign is also filing an order against the county clerks of Champaign and Vermillion Counties and the commissioner of the Danville Election Board to prevent the printing of ballots without Parnarauskis’ name.

“Regardless of the Board’s decision we intend to go forward with the campaign,” he said. “If it’s necessary, I even intend to run as a write-in candidate.”

State Board of Elections general counsel Steve Sandvoss said the board held meetings of the State Officers Electoral Board Thursday and Friday, but could not break their deadlock.

“It is my understanding that Mr. Parnarauskis is not on the ballot,” he said. “There was no progress to sustain the objection or overrule it, so the Board adjourned.”

There are no scheduled meetings until Sept. 18.

Democratic candidate Mike Frerichs’ campaign manager Mike Ruemmler said they would like to see the issue resolved soon so that candidates on the ballot can begin debating.

Republican candidate Judy Myers’ spokesperson Bill Cleeland said it is time to move on.

“It’s disappointing the Democrats are continuing in their relentless drive to kick Joe off the ballot,” he said.

“These shady, back room tactics are exactly the reason voters are disappointed in state government,” he added.

The situation is also creating problems for Champaign County Clerk Mark Shelden and his staff.

Shelden said the mailing of ballots to voters serving in the military overseas has already been delayed.

“We had hoped to send out those ballots last week or this week,” he said. “The longer we wait, the less likely it is they’ll be able to vote.”

Shelden said absentee ballots need to be sent out on Sept. 28, but in order to prepare and organize the ballots he would need a decision by Sept. 25.

“Not having those ballots ready would definitely reduce the number of people voting from overseas, but it could also cost us a ton of money if a decision is made after we’ve already printed the ballots,” he said. “Reprints would be a major cost for the county.”