State board investigates petitions
Updated: January 30, 2012 9:49AM
The Illinois State Board of Elections is investigating voter signatures gathered by two Franklin Park officials.
Franklin Park resident Ken Zurek has accused Utilities Superintendent Joe Lauro and Village Trustee Randy Petersen of gathering signatures for two candidates of different political parties.
Zurek alleges that Lauro and Petersen have gathered signatures for both the reelection bid of Republican Angelo “Skip” Saviano, R-77th, who is running for state representative, and the election of Democrat Terry Gallagher, who is running for a judgeship in Cook County Circuit Court.
“According to the State Board published candidates guide, petition circulators may not circulate for more than one party,” said Ken Menzel, deputy general consul for the Illinois State Board of Elections.
“I don’t feel like I did anything wrong,” Lauro said. “I had a (personal) lawyer tell me I’ve done nothing wrong.”
“There was absolutely nothing wrong that was done,” Petersen said.
Zurek has chosen to challenge the signatures for Saviano’s reelection bid. The Board of Elections had an initial conference with the involved parties on Dec. 22, Menzel said.
Any examination of signatures will take place the week between Christmas and New Years. If not dismissed or settled, the Board of Elections could hear the matter in the second week of January.
State representatives are required to turn in 500 valid signatures and no more than 1,500 signatures. The State Board of Elections can invalidate individual signatures or pages of signatures by circulators, Menzel said.
“Then you total the signatures (left),” Menzel said. “And you’re either above water (still on the ballot) or below water.”