Lawsuit filed to place Normal districting referendum on November ballot

Attorney David Shestokas (closest to camera) filed a legal challenge Friday to electoral...
Attorney David Shestokas (closest to camera) filed a legal challenge Friday to electoral board's ruling(WEEK)
Published: Sep. 2, 2022 at 8:31 PM CDT
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MCLEAN COUNTY (25 News Now) - It will soon be decided in a McLean County courtroom whether residents in Normal will vote this fall on a referendum changing the way they’re represented on the town council.

Earlier this week, Normal’s electoral board declared the proposed referendum invalid because Normal is not a village and can not be divided into council districts.

Court documents were filed Friday afternoon seeking to reverse the electoral board’s action. Normal is in fact a village under state law, according to David Shestokas, the lawyer representing a local woman who filed the petition to place the referendum on the November 8 ballot.

Shestokas, a candidate in the recent Republican primary for Illinois Attorney General, noted in court papers that Normal has an appointed town clerk who is not elected, which is only allowed in villages.

“The decision of the electoral board should be reversed because regardless how the ‘Town of Normal’ chooses to present itself to the world, under the Municipal Code of Illinois it is a Village, and as such subject to the provisions of,” Shestokas said in his court filing.

The referendum, if approved, would create six council districts, with one representative elected in each of the districts. Currently, Normal has community-wide representatives.

Shestokas told 25 News Now he expects in the coming days that a judge will be assigned to the case a court hearing scheduled in the coming days.

McLean County Clerk Kathy Michael indicated a court ruling on the validity referendum has to be made before the end of the month. She said September 29 is the first day of early voting and is also the day her office sends out vote-by-mail ballots.