Smudged stamps, incorrect addresses and non-genuine signatures are the top reasons for objections filed against three candidates in the 16th Congressional District race.

Seven candidates (four Democrats and three Republicans) are vying for candidacy in the March 20 primary. Adam Kinzinger (R-Channahon) currently holds the seat. But a few candidates could be knocked off the ballot if the State Board of Elections finds any merit in the objections filed against their election petitions.

Originally, three candidates faced objections that were filed by Dec. 11.

The State Board of Elections recently disclosed the full objector’s petitions to the NewsTribune.

Smudged signature for Vercolio-Osmund?

An objection was filed against Beth Vercolio, Osmund (D-Ottawa) by Ottawa attorney Christopher Minelli.

Minelli alleges Vercolio-Osmund’s petition is improperly notarized.

“The notarial stamp is smudged beyond legibility on the Statement of Candidacy. Further, there is another ink smudge over the signature of the notary. There is no possible way to legibly read who the notary is or even whether the notary is properly commissioned in the State of Illinois,” his objection said.

Vercolio-Osmund has filed a motion to dismiss, stating that the notary’s name is legible on the Loyalty Oath and that while the ink is smudged it can still be identified as a notary seal.

“We are confident that our petitions will be upheld and are enthusiastically moving forward with the important business of the campaign,” Vercolio-Osmund said.

However, if the state board of elections did rule against Vercolio-Osmund, her name could be removed from the race which includes candidates Neill Mohammad (D-DeKalb), Sara Dady (D-Rockford) and Amy “Murri” Briel (D-Joliet).

Bad signatures for DeBates?

Jaye DeBates (R-Granville) faces objections from both Luther Landon of Rockford and Carolyn Gerwin of Pontiac.

Both objectors raised similar issues with DeBates’ signatures. In Landon’s objection, he is challenging 573 of DeBates’ 1,326 signatures collected for reasons including the signer was not registered at the address listed, the signer’s signature is not genuine, the signer resides outside of the district, the signer’s address is missing or incomplete, or there are duplicated signatures. Gerwin’s objection questions much of the same. She is challenging signatures on 128 of DeBates’ 145 petitions filed.

DeBates needed 1,192 signatures to qualify as a Republican candidate. If enough of his 1,326 signatures are ruled invalid, his name would be taken off the ballot and he would not run against Kinzinger and James Marter (R-Oswego) in March.

A wrong address for Mohammad?

An objection was filed by Bradley Allen against Neill Mohammad (D-DeKalb) for allegedly having a wrong address.

The objection has since been withdrawn. However, it alleged that Mohammad used a DeKalb address on his petitions, while he had ties to a different address at another DeKalb residence and a Chicago residence.

Brett Herrmann can be reached at (815) 220-6933 or Follow him on Twitter @NT_SpringValley.


NewsTribune Online Editor covering Spring Valley and Dalzell. Contact him at (815) 220-6933 or
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