Urbana Mayoral Challengers say City Clerk Failed to Conduct Ballot Lottery


Illinois law requires that a lottery be held to determine in what order candidates are listed by party on an election ballot. But that didn't happen in the city of Urbana.

The April 7th ballot for Urbana's municipal elections lists Democrats first. Democratic Mayor Laurel Prussing says City Clerk Phyllis Clark, also a Democrat, decided the sequence according to the order in which candidates filed their petitions. But Prussing's Green and Republican challengers say that violates state election law.

Republican mayoral candidate Red Bradfield says if a lottery isn't held now and the ballots reprinted to match the result --- then at least, notices should be posted at polling places in Urbana, telling voters that the ballots were not prepared in accordance with election law. "This was not a casual oversight", says Bradfield.

But Mayor Prussing says the failure to hold a ballot lottery was an honest mistake, and she says it's not clear what the remedy should be. Champaign County Clerk Mark Shelden says it's not clear to him either. He says reprinting new ballots according to results of a lottery would cost thousands of dollars.

Green Party Mayor candidate Durl Kruse says the order in which candidates appear on the ballot can influence the outcome, especially in races with smaller voter turnouts.

Story source: AP