Controversial Ballot Wording

Today the Naperville Municipal Officers Electoral Board met to discuss controversial wording on the March 20th ballot. Last week Naperville resident Bill Dawe filed an objection to an advisory referendum that states:

”Shall the City of Naperville Immediately and Permanently Stop the Implementation of the $22 Million Smart Meter Project and Dismantle All Related Equipment?”

That question is scheduled to be on the ballot because of a petition by the Naperville Smart Meter Awareness group. They’ve been very vocal in recent months over their objections to the Naperville Smart Grid Initiative, an upgrade to the city’s electric system. The group worries about the cost, safety, personal privacy, and health issues related to the new meters.

Today it was up to the electoral board to decide whether Dawe’s objection to their petition should pull the question off.

Doug Ibendahl represented the Naperville Smart Meter Awareness group and said Dawe’s filing was a shotgun objection.

“This appears to have been done on the fly without proper due diligence,” said Ibendahl. “A bunch of things were thrown at the wall, hoping that something would stick.”

Ibendahl requested the board dismiss the objection, but the board voted to continue.

Dawe’s own attorney, Kevin McQuillan, defended the objector’s reasons stating the question on the referendum is an impermissible two-part question that doesn’t allow voters to vote on each separately.

“It is the duty of this election board to make a determination at this hearing as to whether or not it is multi-part and whether or not is it vague or improper,” said McQuillan.

And a large focus of today’s discussion centered around Dawe’s other claims, objecting to more than 1,000 signatures for various reasons, including names or addresses being on Naperville’s voting rolls or signatures illegible and that another 1,200 plus signatures were improperly notarized.

McQuillan asked to be able to submit a list of names that he wants to subpoena to the board’s next meeting. He hopes to ask petitioner circulators and notraries about those signatures.

The meeting will reconvene Monday, January 9 at 10am.

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