On August 31, the Illinois State Bd. of Elections deadlocked along party lines, on whether to certify Socialist Equality Party candidate Joe Parnarauskis for the November ballot. He is running for state senate, 52nd district. He submitted 4,991 signatures. The law requires 5% of the last vote cast. However, the law isn’t clear about whether that means 5% of the vote for that particular office in the last election, or 5% of the number of people who put a ballot in the box (within that district) in the last election. Andrew Spiegel, attorney for Parnarauskis, presented evidence that the Board has been calculating the number of signatures incorrectly for the last decade or so. The Board voted to reconvene on September 7, after studying the matter.
Aside from the matter of the dispute on how to calculate the number of signatures, Parnarauskis would also be on the ballot if the Board would accept some petition sheets in which the candidate forgot to include “52nd State Senate district” in the Petition Heading. However, the body of the text includes “52nd State Senate district”. The four Republican Board members voted that the clerical error in the title of the petition is not fatal, but the four Democrats voted that it is fatal.