Are Nominating Papers Invalid When the Statement of Candidacy Does Not Correctly List the Office That the Petitioner Seeks ?
In Lewis v. Dunne, 63 Ill. 2d 48, 344 N.E.2d 443 (1976), the supreme court addressed whether the petitioner's nominating papers were invalid when the statement of candidacy did not correctly list the office that the petitioner sought.
The petitioner indicated on his petitions for nomination that he was running for "'Judge of the Appellate Court of Illinois, First Judicial District, to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of the Honorable Robert E. English.'" Lewis, 63 Ill. 2d at 49-50.
The statement of candidacy, however, indicated the office sought as "'Judge of the Appellate Court of Illinois, First Judicial District.'" Lewis, 63 Ill. 2d at 50.
The court held that the "general purpose of section 7-10 and related provisions of the Election Code is to provide an orderly procedure whereby qualified persons seeking public office may enter primary elections." Lewis, 63 Ill. 2d at 52.
The court then stated that nominating petitions and statements of candidacy each serve particular purposes in regard to the general purpose. Lewis, 63 Ill. 2d at 52.
Further, the court held that "while their sufficiency must be determined with reference to the particular function each was designed to accomplish, it was not intended that for all purposes they should be considered separate and apart as if the other did not exist." Lewis, 63 Ill. 2d at 52-53.
Looking at the petitions for nomination and the statement of candidacy, the court determined that there was "no conflict or inconsistency between the description of the office in the petitions signed by electors and the statement of candidacy" and that "there was no basis for confusion as to the office for which the nominating papers were filed." Lewis, 63 Ill. 2d at 53.
In so holding, the court stated that the apparent purpose of requiring a statement of candidacy was to obtain a sworn statement from the candidate establishing his qualifications to enter the primary election for the office he seeks. Lewis, 63 Ill. 2d at 53.
The court found that the error in the office sought on the statement of candidacy did not affect the determination of whether the candidate was qualified for the office sought. See Lewis, 63 Ill. 2d at 53.
Accordingly, the court found that the petitioner had substantially complied with section 7-10. Lewis, 63 Ill. 2d at 53.