Courtroom battle looms as electoral board rejects districting referendum in Normal

Town of Normal's Electoral Board
Town of Normal's Electoral Board(25 News Now/Heart of Illinois ABC)
Published: Aug. 30, 2022 at 8:29 PM CDT
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NORMAL (25 News Now) - The Town of Normal’s electoral board decided Tuesday night that a proposal creating six council districts should not be placed on the November ballot, however supporters of the change plan to appeal the ruling in court.

The board agreed with referendum objector Patrick Dullard, who claimed that state law permits only villages, not incorporated communities like Normal, to be divided into districts.

Normal is currently governed by at-large council members who are elected by voters from the entire town.

David Shestokas, representing residents wanting the referendum, plans to appeal in McLean County Circuit Court. Shestokas recently waged an unsuccessful campaign in the Republican primary for Illinois Attorney General.

He expects a relatively quick resolution to the dispute.

“Those matters are always expedited under the rules for these kinds of things because of the election issues. So things that may take months in a normal court setting usually take days. No more than weeks and usually days,” Shestokas said.

The electoral board overruled a second objection that the referendum petition did not contain enough valid signatures.

The electoral board was composed of Mayor Chris Koos, Town Councilman Kevin McCarthy, and Town Clerk Angie Huonker.