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Geneva Township clerk hopeful faces petition challenge

GENEVA –  The Geneva Township Electoral Board scheduled a hearing for 10 a.m. today at the township office, 400 Wheeler Drive, Geneva, to hear an objection to the nominating petitions of a candidate for clerk.

Township Trustee Robert Kovacs filed an objection to the petitions of Geoffrey M. Carreiro. Kovacs’ objection claims 19 of the signatures are those of people who are not registered to vote or whose names were printed instead of written as a signature.

Carreiro’s petition required the signatures of 156 registered voters. He collected 162 signatures. If the electoral board finds that 19 are not valid, it would reduce the number of valid signatures to 143, which is 13 fewer than required to get on the ballot.

“I found 19 problems, and I am contesting it,” Kovacs said. “I want him off the ballot.”

Kovacs said if Carreiro stays on the ballot, Carreiro will be elected.

“I don’t know him personally; I don’t know if he is good, bad or mediocre,” Kovacs said. “If I can remove him from the ballot, then the trustees and I will be able to interview potential candidates for the position and select someone who will do a good job.”

Kovacs said he has two individuals in mind to seek an appointment as township clerk, but he would not say who they are.

Carreiro said he did not start collecting signatures until it became clear that no one had filed to run for clerk. Township clerk Barbara Olson said she would not seek re-election.

“I grew up in the Geneva/St. Charles area,” Carreiro said. “I was wanting to get more involved in the community and serve.”

Carreiro said after speaking with Olson about what was involved in the part-time position, he decided it would fit into his work schedule.

But there seems to be more problems than questionable signatures.

While other members of the electoral board received notice that the hearing was set for 10 a.m. today, Carreiro’s notice states 10 p.m., he said.

The notices were delivered by Kane County sheriff’s deputies.

Geneva Township Supervisor Patrick Jaeger said he called Carreiro about the correct time.

“I indicated there was a typographical error in his notice and he acknowledged that,” Jaeger said. “I informed him by telephone. He said he would be present.”

Carreiro said he considered hiring a lawyer to represent him, but they are too expensive. He said he will consider challenging his notice of the objection as not legal because it has the wrong time.

“If I am knocked off the ballot, I will register as a write-in candidate,” Carreiro said.

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