Cook County Circuit Court Clerk and Chicago mayoral candidate Dorothy Brown is in danger of getting knocked off the February ballot, WBEZ has learned.
A preliminary summary report from Chicago’s election board found that Brown does not have enough valid nominating signatures to run in the Feb. 26 election for mayor. The report shows Brown is 1,128 signatures short of the 12,500 she needs to stay on the ballot.
Brown’s signatures have been challenged by two rivals in the mayoral race, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Willie Wilson. Hearings in those cases are scheduled for Friday.
Brown disputed the election board’s findings during a news conference Thursday morning.
.@DorothyForMayor says she did some “research” and is now tying the alleged discrepancy to @toniforchicago because the city and county election boards share the same technology pic.twitter.com/m8Xv5N0cib— Claudia Morell (@claudiamorell) January 10, 2019
"Something is seriously wrong with this system," Brown said, adding that she’s convinced she’s being targeted by Preckwinkle.
Brown said she will have a handwriting expert defend the disputed signatures.
The attorney for Preckwinkle’s campaign, Keri-Lyn Krafthefer, accused Brown of "blithering" and said the system is open and transparent.
"This is really a distracting ploy, and that’s all it is, by a desperate candidate."
There are 2 objections to Brown's petitions that are pending. The next hearings in those cases are scheduled for 430 pm and 5 pm on Friday, per the election board's website. 2/— Dan Mihalopoulos (@dmihalopoulos) January 10, 2019
Chicago Board of Election spokesman Jim Allen was standing just a few steps away ready to respond to Brown’s allegations of fraud.
"[They] are absolutely not based in fact, patently false, provably false," Allen said of Brown's comments.
Allen said he didn't want to "play Vegas odds" on whether Brown will make the February ballot, "but I will tell you it is a very steep climb."
Allen said candidates have been able to survive challenges to a couple hundred signatures. But those cases are rare.
"We've never had an objection that was 1,100 [signatures] down come back, so it's not impossible, but at this point it seems highly improbable.”