The Wisconsin Election Commission has upheld Rhinelander city clerk Val Foley's decision to keep mayoral candidate Christopher Frederickson's name off the spring ballot.
Frederickson was deemed ineligible to be on the ballot after his opponent, alderman Alex Young, filed a formal complaint alleging technical errors made 56 of the 75 signatures collected in support of Frederickson's candidacy invalid, leaving him with less than the required 50 valid signatures.
According to state law, nomination papers are to be dated after signatures are collected, however in the case of some of Frederickson's paperwork the pages were dated before the signatures were collected.
Another mayoral candidate, Scott Counter, made the same error and Young challenged those papers as well. After reviewing the challenges, city clerk Val Foley removed both men's names from the ballot, leaving Young as the only official candidate.
"In my capacity as the City Clerk/Filing Clerk, I have determined that pursuant to state law, the election administrative code and pamphlets from the Wisconsin Election Commission that the challenges are valid," Foley said in a press release issued Jan. 11.
Counter chose not to contest Foley's decision, but Foley took his case to the election's commission, filing an appeal Jan. 16.
The commission issued a written decision Monday upholding Foley's findings.
"The City Clerk is afforded discretion when determining if a candidate's name is eligible for placement on the ballot," the decision states. "The City Clerk 'may refuse to place the candidate's name on the ballot" if the candidate's "nomination papers are not prepared, signed or executed as required; under Ch. 8 of the statutes. The City Clerk did not abuse her discretion in reaching the decision that Mr. Frederickson's nomination papers were insufficient when filed and not corrected in a timely manner through an affidavit. The City Clerk's challenge decision contained sufficient legal support, and the Commission will not overturn that decision."
A full story on the decision will be published in the Thursday's print edition.
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