Motion Filed To Withdraw Objection To One Naperville Candidate’s Petition

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A motion has been filed to withdraw the objection to Naperville city council candidate Nag Jaiswal’s nomination petition, according to Naperville city officials.

Original Objection to Petition

Naperville resident Elizabeth Zega had filed the objection on December 2. It stated that Jaiswal’s petition had a series of inconsistencies. Those include incorrect dates of the election, and three different entries in the field of the office the candidate is seeking. The objection says that several sheets list it as “NAPERVILLE CITY COUNCIL,” with three others noting it as “NAPERVILLE CITY,’ and yet another saying “CITY COUNCIL.” 

The claim also said there were different colored inks used in different field headings, suggesting “the petitions were not complete when the signatures were collected.” It further pointed out a number of signature lines, which were incorrectly completed, saying that those should be invalid.

Request to Withdraw Objection

On Friday, Zega filed a motion to withdraw the objection. Naperville’s Electoral Board will rule upon that motion at a hearing on Monday, December 12. Zega has indicated that she does not plan to attend the hearing.

Jaiswal will also be absent from Monday’s hearing, as he is currently in India, paying respect to his late parents. 

In regards to the objection, he had previously told NCTV17, “My conscience is very clear that no wrong has been done by me or my campaign team. I will face the challenge with positivity and look forward to learn from it.”

Objections To Other Candidate Petitions Remain

Monday’s 9 a.m. Electoral Board hearing had been set up not just to hear the objection to Jaiswal’s petition, but also objections to the petitions of two other candidates running for office in the April 4, 2023 Consolidated Election.

Arian Ahmadpour, a Naperville resident and finance chair of the Will County Young Democrats, filed objections on December 5 to the nomination petitions of Tiffany Stephens, a mayoral candidate, and Derek McDaniel, a city council candidate.

Objection to Stephens’ Petition

In regards to Stephens, Ahmadpour’s objection claims that prior to July 2022, Stephens was a resident of Aurora.

Illinois Municipal Code states that a candidate must have “resided in the municipality at least one year next preceding the election or appointment.”

As the upcoming consolidated election is April 4, 2023, the objection states that “because the Candidate does not meet the durational residency requirements, the Candidate is not qualified to seek or hold the office of Mayor of the City of Naperville.” Thus, it requests her name be removed from the ballot.

Stephens’ Response

Stephens says she is ready for Monday’s hearing and will prove her residency. She told NCTV17 she has lived in Naperville for 25 years.

“I won’t be afraid, I won’t be defeated…I am not going to be bullied,” said Stephens. She added that she had also experienced pushback when she ran for City Council in 2011.

Even though city elections are nonpartisan, Stephens describes herself as an independent, and says others do not like her independent spirit. 

“I have challenges and I am used to challenges,” said Stephens.

Objection to Council Candidate Derek McDaniel

Also facing an objection by Ahmadpour is city council candidate Derek McDaniel. That objection claims that the pages of McDaniel’s nomination petition were not numbered. 

Ahmadpour says in the objection that page numbering is mandatory as “aside from serving identification purposes, it serves an important function to prevent tampering and preserving the integrity of the electoral process.”

The objection also says the paperwork filed was not secured or fastened correctly as required by Illinois Election Code.

Ahmadpour’s attorney, Ross Secler of Odelson, Sterk, Murphey, Frazier & McGrath, Ltd., told NCTV17, “These candidates really stood out for the errors for Tiffany Stephens and page errors for Derek McDaniel.” He said his client is “protecting the electoral process and wants the enforcement of the law.” 

McDaniel told NCTV17 he would refrain from comment until after Monday’s hearing.

The Hearing

Monday’s hearing of the city’s Electoral Board will be held in city council chambers at the Naperville Municipal Center.

The board is made up of Mayor Steve Chirico, Naperville City Councilman Paul Hinterlong, and Naperville City Clerk Pam Gallahue. The three will determine the validity of the objections, and rule accordingly.

The public is welcome to attend the proceedings. The hearing will be streamed live on the city’s website, as well as broadcast live on government access TV station WCNC.

NCTV17 Reports.

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