2007 election to be held again in 25th Ward?
July 3, 2009
Cuauhetmoc Morfin

Update | July 2009

Attorneys Nicholas Kefalos and Adolfo Mondragon of the Vernor Moran law firm on June 5 presented arguments in court in a class action suit to overturn a 2007 Illinois Supreme Court decision that second-place finisher Cuauhtemoc Morfin did not reach the percentage of votes needed to require a runoff election for alderman of the 25th Ward. Danny Solis, who got the most votes, was declared the winner in 2007.

Vernor Moran filed the class action suit in March 2007 after some voters approached the law firm about their votes not being included.

Kefalos said the Chicago Board of Elections admitted to excluding 178 votes for Ambrosio Medrano, whom the Illinois Supreme Court disqualified the Friday before the election because of a previous legal conviction, as well as 24 write-in votes, from the final count. Plaintiffs contend that, had those votes been counted, Solis would not have reached the 50% plus one vote threshold and a runoff between Solis and Morfin would have been required.

In addition, the plaintiffs argue the City should have redone the ballots once Medrano was disqualified instead of using ballots still listing Medrano as a candidate. Kefalos expects a decision as early as mid-July, he said.

Danny Solis
Morfin said that if the court rules in the plaintiffs’ favor he would be ready for a special runoff later this year if the Board of Elections schedules such an election; also, he may run for alderman again in the regular 2011 election. He said allegedly disenfranchised voters asked him “to support the lawsuit and the demand for justice in respecting the right to vote of registered voters.

Voting is a constitutional right, and to disenfranchise the voters is unfair to the community.”

Morfin added he is not a “sore loser,” saying his primary goal is that all the votes cast by registered voters get counted.

Concern that not all votes would be counted “was a grounded fear of those in the community and exactly the reason why there is such a poor voter turnout in all of the elections,” Morfin asserted.

Maya Solis, press officer for Solis, said “it is very late” to try to overturn the 2007 election and that the alderman and his office “are abiding by the 2007 Illinois Supreme Court decision against holding another election. The alderman and his office will continue to focus on serving and representing the community.”

Kefalos stated the class action suit’s purpose is to send a message to the City that when a voter is given a ballot it needs to be correct and that all votes must be counted.

– Susan Fong

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