• Election board presented with evidence in CHS bond petition challenge

    by  • September 12, 2013 • News

    The Marion County Election Board reconvened Thursday afternoon in the Marion County Courthouse to hear arguments from both sides of a petition challenge that was recessed last month. marion county courthouse

    According to Board Chairman Marion County Clerk Steve Fox, the hearing lasted for approximately one hour, as the objectors to the petitions seeking to have a $2 million bond referendum placed on the March ballot went further into their challenge of more than 650 petition signatures.

    Fox says the objectors brought good data, along with signed affidavits from people who signed the petitions saying they were told the petitions were for a different purpose than the referendum and others saying when they signed the petition it was left unattended on a counter.

    The petitions sought to have a $2 million bond referendum for Centralia High School placed on the March ballot.

    The school board is seeking to refinance existing bonds for another two years, to raise the funds necessary to either construct a new football stadium or to bring the existing Evers Field up to state safety standards.

    The petitioners, he said, submitted a spread sheet supporting their claims, but conceded that approximately 219 of the signatures they collected should be thrown out. Fox explains, however, that would still leave them within the required 1,400 signatures needed to have the issue placed on the March ballot, as they submitted more than 1,800 signatures.

    According to Fox, the board, which includes Circuit Clerk Ronda Yates and State’s Attorney Matt Wilzbach will now meet to review the evidence submitted by the two sides and will issue a written finding to both the petitioners and the objectors, before releasing their decision to the media.

    He says the process could take quite a while, as they have to go through each objection and each rule, comparing the evidence to the claims.




    An August hearing of the Marion County Election Board that was continued is scheduled to be decided today.

    The hearing is in regard to a challenge of more than 650 signatures submitted with a

    While the petition circulators submitted more than the 1,400 signatures required to force the issue to the ballot, others have challenged the petitions, claiming more than 650 of the signatures are not valid, and therefore bring the number of signatures below the required number.

    The hearing was continued until today to give the election board time to collect voting records from all four counties in the school district for comparison to the petition’s signatures.