Village Trustee & Mayoral Forum Videos

mayoral candidates at forum in Park Forest, forum videos
The mayoral candidates at Sunday’s forum with moderator Barbara Sturges seated in the middle. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- The forums were packed on Sunday. The Board Room was standing room only. These forum videos don’t do justice to the crowd, focused as they are on the candidates and moderator. Even after the first forum that featured Library Board candidates, people still entered Village Hall. Volunteers from the Park Forest Non-Partisan Committee continued to try to find room for more and more chairs as more and more people filed in.

We offer the forum videos below for those who were not able to attend and those who wish to watch the forums more closely.

A breakdown and analysis of each forum will follow this week.

The final forum for mayoral candidates, trustee candidates, and library trustee candidates is scheduled for Sunday, March 17, 2019, in Park Forest Village Hall. That forum is sponsored by the Co-operatives of Park Forest.

Village Trustee Forum

There are three candidates running for three open seats for Village Trustee: Tiffani Graham, Candyce Herron, and Joseph Woods.

Mayoral Forum

For the mayoral forum, Renee Hawthorne joined candidates Mae Brandon, JeRome Brown, and Jonathan Vanderbilt. Ms. Hawthorne gave out cards after the forum indicating she is a write-in candidate for mayor.

That’s partially correct. Ms. Hawthorne filed paperwork to be a write-in candidate for mayor of Park Forest with Cook County. She did not file paperwork for the Will County. This means that write-in votes cast for Ms. Hawthorne in the Cook County portion of Park Forest will be counted, but write-in votes for Ms. Hawthorne in the Will County portion of Park Forest will not be counted.

Sean P. Hightower filed to be a write-in candidate for mayor in both Cook and Will Counties. Write-in votes for Mr. Hightower will be counted in both jurisdictions.

Mr. Hightower was not present at Sunday’s forum.

Here are the rules for write-in candidates, first from Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough:

Prospective write-in candidates in Illinois must file paperwork with the county clerk, or election authority, in each jurisdiction where their name will appear on the ballot.

In suburban Cook County, a write-in candidate must submit a Write-in Candidate Declaration of Intent form at the Cook County Clerk’s downtown Chicago office, 69 W. Washington St., Fifth Floor.

The Clerk’s office will provide a list of eligible write-in candidates to each precinct on Election Day. This list enables election judges to determine which write-in candidates are running in their precinct. Only votes for eligible write-in candidates are counted.

Voters can vote for a write-in candidate on a paper ballot or a touch screen.

Will County Clerk Lauren Staley Ferry says the following, “To be a valid Write-In candidate, you must complete a Declaration of Intent to be a Write-In Candidate form no later than 61 days prior to an election.”

Why must candidates file to run as write-in candidates? The simple analysis goes something like this: With votes only counting for those who file, this ensures that “None of the Above” or “Mickey Mouse” would never get elected. Unless, of course, someone actually named “None of the Above” or “Mickey Mouse” actually filed to run as write-in candidates.

The last day to file to be a write-in candidate for April 2, 2019 Consolidated Election was January 31, 2019.

Photo Gallery: Candidates and Citizens

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