Eligibility questions remain for Saline County Treasurer candida - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Eligibility questions remain for Saline County Treasurer candidate

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SALINE COUNTY -- With under a month to go until Election Day its still unclear whether Saline County Treasure candidate Danny Gibbs will actually be on the ballot. 

The uncertainty comes after Saline County Republican Chairman Bob Holmes filed an objection to Gibbs' candidacy due to a state law that says if you vote in one party's primary, you can't run under a different party in in the general election. 

Gibbs is running for treasurer as a Democrat, but records show he voted in March's Republican primary. 

"Nothing against Mr. Gibbs, this is just something we would have done if it was whoever," Holmes said. 

He filed the objection August 31, and under state law, County Clerk Kim Buchanan was required to convene the county's electoral board within 3-5 days. 

The electoral board finally met Wednesday, more than a month after the objection, to decide on Gibbs' candidacy after a court order required the hearing, but the board said it would wait until Thursday to issue its decision.

Holmes said the decision should be pretty cut and dry.

"Just follow the law," he said. "That's all we're asking for."

Gibbs argued the law was unconstitutional, and penalized him for actually voting.

"I kind of feel like I'm being punished because I did vote, which everyone should do," Gibbs said. 

Gibbs pointed out a 2016 ruling in Effingham County that found the law unconstitutional but Holmes' attorney Sam Beggs says as a circuit court decision, it holds no precedent.

State's attorney Jayson Clark, who is on the election board with Buchanan and Circuit Clerk Randy Nyberg, said they couldn't consider whether the statute is constitutional, but have to decide using current state law.

Still, with early voting already started, both sides say its unfortunate the situation has dragged on for so long. 

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