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Cunningham’s ballot status back ‘in limbo’

Updated: April 10, 2012 11:20AM

By the time the matter of Jack Cunningham’s candidacy for the 11th Congressional District race is decided, voters could have just a week to decide between Cunningham and Rep. Judy Biggert in the GOP primary.

On Wednesday, an appellate court ordered that the Illinois State Board of Elections take another look at the case and have a decision back to the court by March 13.

According to the order, two of Cunningham’s election petition circulators may have failed to personally appear before a notary when certifying some of their petition sheets. It will be up to the Illinois State Board of Elections to decide which petition sheets are valid and whether Cunningham is left with enough signatures to run in the race for the new district, which includes Aurora, Naperville, Plainfield and Joliet.

“Cunningham’s status on the ballot is in limbo,” said John Fogerty, the lawyer representing Biggert’s supporters who have contested the signatures. He said that until the State Board of Elections meets and makes a decision, the appellate court will retain jurisdiction on the case.

“It’s really unusual,” he said.

Cunningham’s name appears on the ballots for early voting, which already is under way.

On Feb. 5, the State Board of Elections ruled Cunningham off the ballot because of the signature issue. He appealed that decision, and the court put him back on the ballot in a Feb. 21 ruling.

The order issued Wednesday stays that decision until the State Board of Elections rules once more.

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