Thursday, January 12, 2017

Meeting next week will determine if Belvidere Township allows Helnore on ballot for supervisor election

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Posted Jan 11, 2017 at 7:38 PM Updated Jan 12, 2017 at 12:12 AM

By Susan Vela
Staff writer

BELVIDERE - Former township assessor Diann Helnore may not have enough valid signatures to challenge Supervisor Bill Robertson in the April 4 general election.

Boone County Clerk Mary Steurer told the Belvidere Township Officers Electoral Board that Helnore's 236 valid signatures are eight shy of the 244 required.

The board consisting of township Trustees Richard Nelson, Judy Schabacker and Bob Turner shared Steurer's report during a hearing today.

They will decide whether Helnore's name will appear on the April 4 ballot at 1 p.m. Tuesday at the Belvidere Township Town Hall, 8200 Fairgrounds Road.

Helnore, who is running as an independent, intends to contest she has more than the required amount. Her nomination petitions had a total of 304 signatures.

"We did have some from other townships, but most of them are valid," she said after today's hearing. "We'll exceed the number that we need easily. I think it's over 250. It might be 260. I'm looking forward to getting on the ballot."

Robertson declined to comment, saying only that he will not talk about the matter until it's settled.

His attorney, Jim Hursh, also declined comment. He has asked the board to ban more evidence from Helnore at Tuesday's hearing.

"Anything could happen," Township Attorney Keri-Lyn Krafthefer said. "(However), this is an area of the law where close enough isn't sufficient."

Helnore served as township assessor from 2010 to 2013. She said she decided to run a few weeks before the Dec. 19 deadline. She sought signatures during snowstorms, she said.

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