Election Board Hearing Rescheduled Following Call to Remove Board Chair

By Jeremy Coumbes on January 11, 2021 at 8:20pm

Tomorrow’s meeting of the Village of South Jacksonville’s Electoral Board was canceled today, following a call from one of the candidates for a new board chair.

The Village Electoral Board was set to hear arguments over Village Mayoral Candidate Richard Samples’ objection to the petition for candidacy by Tyson Manker, however after a flurry of activity by both sides, the hearing has been rescheduled to next Wednesday, January 20th.

On December 30th, Samples filed the objection on grounds that Manker’s petition was not properly fastened as instructed, one of the notarized pages of signatures was not signed by Manker, and that he failed to file his Statement of Economic Opportunity with Morgan County Clerk’s Office.

On Wednesday of last week, Manker filed a motion with the board to strike and dismiss Mr. Samples’ objection, stating it was not in compliance with Section 10-8 of Illinois Election Code by not stating what relief Samples is requesting.

On Friday, Samples filed a response calling for Manker’s motion to be denied citing a 1995 case addressing fatal errors in election petition objections, and that Section 10-8 does not include a penalty provision for the objector not stating what relief is requested.

This morning Manker filed response calling Samples’ motion not valid under state election law and “legally incoherent”. Maker also filed an Emergency Motion this morning calling for the removal of Electoral Board Chair Harry Jennings, in which he accuses Jennings of showing clear bias in the matter, after Jennings sent a request Friday asking Manker to correct a Facebook post.

According to documents filed by Manker, Jennings contacted him Friday evening via email calling for him to “correct this matter” and remove a post from his personal Facebook page promotion his campaign.

Manker says the post was a check in page where Facebook selects the picture to attach by the person checking into the specific place.

Jennings told WLDS News this afternoon the email was sent on the advisement of Village General Council Roland Cross, and that as current Village Mayor, Jennings knew the Village does not have an official Facebook page, and that the post was a check in page with Manker’s photo as the background and that he simply was asking him to remove it.

Jennings says Manker’s motion to have him removed as Board Chair now requires the meeting to be rescheduled as adding it to the agenda within 48 hours of the meeting would be in violation of the Open Meetings Act.

Official notice was posted this afternoon, that the Village Electoral Board will now meet on Wednesday, January 20th at 6:00 pm at the Village Hall on Dewy Drive in South Jacksonville.