North Suburban attorney Clint Krislov will likely be removed from the crowded Illinois Supreme Court race after falling short of the required signatures needed to be placed on the ballot.
At the end of a hearing Monday before ekections board judge Mary C. Meehan, Krislov was 106 names shy of the 5,050 signatures of registered voters required to run for the seat.
After candidates formally file to run, the signatures they gathered are verified over several days in December, with names eliminated for various reasons: signatures don’t match, the signers are not registered party voters, there are discrepancies in addresses, or the names are clearly false, for example. Most candidates gather far more than the required number of signatures as a safety measure. Candidates can object to these exclusions and be challenged in hearings like the one Krislov faced Monday.
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Before the hearing began, Krislov had fallen 118 signatures short of the threshold. After providing affidavits and evidence that some signatures were improperly excluded, 12 names were reinstated, leaving Krislov still 106 names shy. That makes it likely the hearing officer will recommend to the county electoral board that Krislov be removed from the ballot.
Krislov’s signatures were challenged by three registered voters, who are usually proxies for one of a candidate’s opponents. But because he was already short of the required number of signatures after the initial verification process, the hearing officer declared the rest of the hearing “moot.”
“It’s really a nuts sort of process,” Krislov said during a break in the proceedings. “A very wealthy candidate can challenge everybody.”
The crux of the case against Krislov’s signatures was that he had hired someone to gather signatures who had been convicted on election fraud charges in DuPage County and could have added a significant number of bogus signatures to the list, attorney Steve Laduzinsky argued on behalf of the challengers.
“Mr. Krislov’s candidacy is death by his own circulators,” Laduzinsky said in closing.
Krislov, a latecomer to the Supreme Court race, has notably represented city retirees in healthcare benefit and pension disputes with the city. He has previously run unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate, Illinois attorney general and comptroller offices.
Krislov is the only Supreme Court nominee facing a challenge, but far from the only judicial candidate. Twenty-six circuit and subcircuit candidates are facing challenges.
Candidates Lisa A. Copland and La Vetta D. Williams have voluntarily withdrawn from their races, while candidates Jamie Guerra Dickler, Eileen Marie O’Connor, and Jonathan Clark Green have had their objections overruled. A number of candidates’ hearings have concluded, though the board has not yet formally voted on their objections.
“It’s not really about voters. It’s not really about signatures. It’s about winning,” Krislov’s attorney Andrew Finko said.