The Post & Email Speaks with Illinois Ballot Challenge Plaintiff

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by Sharon Rondeau

Illinois has a population of almost 13,000,000, with approximately 65% living in the greater Chicago area

(Feb. 8, 2012) — On Thursday, February 2, 2012, two challenges to the placement of Barack Hussein Obama’s name on the Illinois state ballot were heard at 11:00 a.m. local time.  A third objection, Meroni v. Obama, had reportedly been withdrawn.  Objections to other candidates also appeared on the schedule to be reviewed.

Mr. Jackson has written to his county sheriff and U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts regarding his doubts about Obama’s constitutional eligibility to serve as president.  The sheriff is the highest law enforcement officer in his county, reportedly with authority exceeding that of federal agents or the President of the United States.  One county sheriff launched an investigation into Obama’s background last fall and will give a press conference on his team’s findings on March 1, 2012.

Jackson had also filed an objection to Mitt Romney’s candidacy on January 13, 2012, but withdrew it shortly thereafter to concentrate on his objection to Obama’s eligibility to run.

Jackson told The Post & Email that the “hearing” was over in no more than ten minutes, and he wasn’t allowed to respond to the decision of the Illinois State Board of Elections.  The Board consists of four Democrats and four Republicans with staggered terms of service.  One of its responsibilities is to “investigate and refer apparent violations to law enforcement agencies. The Board’s role is to see that procedures provided for by state law are complied with throughout the state.”

To date, ballot challenges, which are permitted by law in all 50 states, have been heard or decided in New Hampshire, Georgia, Illinois, and Alabama.  Jackson’s challenge was responded to by Obama’s two attorneys with a Motion to Strike and Dismiss on January 24, 2012 and included a copy of the case Ankeny v. Daniels, upon which Judge Michael Malihi in Georgia relied upon to determine that Obama is a “natural born Citizen.”

Illinois election law states that a candidate who has been known by a different name within three years of his candidacy must declare it on his petition as well as provide an affidavit “stating the candidate’s previous names during the period specified in (i) and the date or dates each of those names was changed; failure to meet these requirements shall be grounds for denying certification of the candidate’s name for the ballot or removing the candidate’s name from the ballot, as appropriate…”

Obama has reportedly been known as Barry Soetoro and possibly Bari M. Shabazz, as originally reported by researcher Martha Trowbridge on November 2, 2011.  An internet image search for “Bari M. Shabazz” yields numerous results, including photos of Malcolm X, Obama, and his purported stepfather, Lolo Soetoro.

“It was over in ten minutes.  They suppressed the evidence that I had sent to them, the Amicus Brief, as well as my exhibits…noen of that was brought to the light of day.  When they made a motion to dismiss the petition, I stood up and asked the Board if I would have an opporutnity to address the Board based on the fact that I was a registered voter in the state of Illinois; that’s why I was here.  He interrupted the chairman, got his attention, and said that they were not going to allow me to speak beause they had made a motion that the ‘birther’ issue that had been going on for the last three or four years had already been dealt with, and they felt that there was no forum here based on law for them to address my petition.”

Jackson reported that he left the room between 11:10 and 11:15.  We asked if both Freeman and Jackson’s cases were dismissed at the same time, and Jackson reported that Mr. Freeman “was not there.”  Jackson said that an objector to another candidate was allowed to “bring his argument forth” in a hearing following Jackson’s.

As Jackson exited the hearing room, he stated to the man who escorted him, “I felt like I was in a communist nation.”  The escort, the executive director of the Board of Elections, reportedly responded, “I’m not part of this group!”

A petition for judicial review would have had to have been submitted by close of business  on Tuesday, Jackson said.  He stated that the ruling was based on a purported copy of Obama’s birth certificate allegedly proving that he was born in Hawaii and therefore meets constitutional eligibility requirements.

The U.S. Constitution states in Article II, Section 1, clause 5 that the president and commander-in-chief must be a “natural born Citizen.”  Some scholars have stated that Obama cannot meet that definition because of his foreign-citizen father.  Judges and other sources appear to define “natural born Citizen” as simply having been born on U.S. soil without regard to the citizenship of the parents.  One attorney has opined that no evidence has been presented that Obama was even born anywhere in the United States in addition to his claim of a non-U.S.-citizen father.

The “birth certificate” presented by Obama’s attorneys in Illinois and Georgia has been described as a forgery.


Editor’s Note:  The Post & Email had interviewed Sharon Meroni in July 2010 regarding her research into Illinois election law and official objection periods.


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