Acri files papers to run as write-in for mayor after board rules against her

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Stephanie Acri has filed papers to run as a write-in candidate for mayor, just hours after the city electoral board booted her and others off the ballot.

"My intention is to run as a write-in candidate for the primary election, so the voters can choose who is going to be on the general election ballot," Acri said.

There was some confusion over whether or not City Clerk Tracy Koranda would accept the papers to force a primary, but after consulting with the city attorney, the papers were successfully turned in before noon.

Earlier, the three-person electoral board voted 2 to 1 to reject the nominating petitions for mayoral challengers Bob Vogelbaugh and Stephanie Acri, and aldermanic candidates John Zelnio and Sonia Berg.

All were rejected because they had not numbered their pages as required by state election law.

"And it states very clearly there the sheets shall be numbered," said Ald. Lori Turner, one of the judges.

Connie Mohr-Wright, the election judge appointed after Koranda was taken off the board because of a conflict of interest, agreed.

"It says (numbering the pages) is mandatory. That's the only reason I voted the way I did. I certainly would like them all to be on the ballot," Mohr-Wright said after the decision was handed down.

After the ruling, Mayor Raes said the oversight was not a technicality, but a matter of legal right and wrong.

"The bottom line is, the petitions were not numbered and because they weren't numbered, none of the signatures count," he said.

When asked if he thought this could backfire, he said, "Sure, I know it's not a popular decision, Chris, so again, it's what I believed was the the right thing to do and I know everybody's not on board with that," Raes said.

Mayoral candidate Bob Vogelbaugh told WQAD that he was not surprised by the decision, but is not going to challenge the ruling or run as a write-in.

Raes' name will be the only one on the ballot. Write-in candidates must depend on voters to do just that, write their names in an empty space on the ballot. It is generally an up-hill battle.

Zelnio and Berg say they intend to file as write-ins as well.

Raes said the city of Moline is "on a roll", in terms of new development and he will run on his past record.

The primary election is in February, the general election in April.