Buffalo Grove resident Jeff Battinus’ name won’t appear on the April 9 ballot, village officials ruled Monday, making the spring election uncontested.
The village’s electoral board unanimously agreed that state law prohibits candidates from appearing on the ballot if they miss filing deadlines for required paperwork. While Battinus filed most of his paperwork on Dec. 17, he failed to submit his statement of economic interests before the Dec. 26 deadline. He submitted the form on Jan. 2.
The missed deadline was called out last week by Trustee Andy Stein, another election candidate. Stein urged Battinus to withdraw his candidacy before he filed an official objection, which sparked Monday’s hearing.
Before the electoral board, made up of Village President Jeff Braiman, Trustee Jeff Berman and Village Clerk Janet Sirabian, came to their conclusion, they referenced three other similar cases. In each of those cases, the potential candidate was not permitted to run for election.
“I have found no cases that contradict these three cases,” said attorney Jeffrey Stein (no relation to Andy Stein), who represented the electoral board.
During the 45-minute hearing, Battinus described the omission as “simply a mistake” and claimed that Stein’s objection was “self-serving.”
“Laws are designed to protect people and property, not to stifle competition,” said Battinus, who urged the electoral board to “vote for true democracy today” by allowing his name to appear on the ballot.
“Whatever sympathies we may have … the courts have held that the rules reflected in the state statue are mandatory,” Berman replied.
“I agree with you that having more people running is a good thing,” Braiman said. But, he added, it’s not fair to place the blame on Andy Stein since Battinus was responsible for submitting the proper paperwork.
“They are correct. I need to be accountable for it,” Battinus said after the hearing. “I did make a mistake, and for that I apologize for the people of Buffalo Grove.”
Immediately after the hearing, Stein said he was pleased with the outcome.
“Based on all the research that I did, I couldn’t imagine that this wasn’t going to be the result,” he said, referencing the legal precedent.
Battinus said he’s not sure whether he’ll seek election again in the future, but if he does, “the same mistake won’t be repeated,” he said.
His main objective was to give voters a choice when electing trustees this spring, he said. “If there were other people running, I would not have attempted to fight this,” he said.
In addition to Stein, current trustees Beverly Sussman and Lester Ottenheimer are seeking election to the three open seats.