Illinois Supreme Court knocks East St. Louis Mayor off ballot; s - KMOV.com

Illinois Supreme Court knocks East St. Louis Mayor off ballot; some early votes voided

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EAST ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) - -

In a ruling, the Illinois Supreme Court said the name of East St. Louis Mayor Alvin Parks should not appear on the ballot for April's elections.

The court ruled Parks did not collect enough valid signatures for his name to appear on the ballot for elections to be held April 7. The court also said all votes that have already been cast for Parks in early voting will not count.

Many supporters of Parks who voted early said they feel their right to vote has been denied.

“The state of Illinois is saying I'm no good. That's what they're saying to the people of East St. Louis, they are no good. We don't matter, that's what they're saying,” a Parks supporter said.

“My grandparents fought for the right to vote and now I'm disenfranchised. It doesn't matter, it's just thrown away,” another Parks supporter said.

The Executive Director of the East St. Louis Board of Elections said the board has received 1500 completed ballots by mail and is still waiting on 1500 more. She also told News 4 she is waiting for additional guidance from the Supreme Court.

“At this point we are at a standstill with what the ruling states,” Executive Director of East St. Louis Board of Elections Kandrise Mosby said.

Mosby said the state Supreme Court may provide guidance that would allow those who had their ballots thrown out to re-vote. However, if that does happen, those who had their ballots discarded will not be able to vote in the election again.

Mosby's office is now re-printing ballots without Parks' name on it.

Parks has launched a write-in campaign and will also be speaking with a lawyer about trying to get the votes already cast for him to count.

"We're not going to let someone just take the city, at take it and do whatever they like with it. We're bot going to have free rides for any seat, including the mayor's seat," Parks said. "We will go out and work doubly hard and understand that when we win, the victory will be even sweeter."

Parks' opponent said he will still campaign hard.

"As we're excited about the Supreme Court ruling, we're very excited, don't want to say we're not," said mayoral candidate Emeka Jackson-Hicks. "We understand there is still a race to be ran."

East St. Louis holds non-partisan elections for city officials.

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