La Shawn Ford

The Chicago Board of Elections voted to keep state Rep. La Shawn K. Ford (8th) on the ballot, overruling objections against his nominating petitions.

The ruling came during a Jan. 12 meeting, which was held at 69 W. Washington Blvd. The commissioners agreed with hearing Officer Mary Celeste, finding that objections were made in bad faith. 

As noted in the Board of Elections’ ruling on objections to Ford’s nominating petitions, under state law, the board and its hearing officers can require objectors to prove that their objections are “based on knowledge, information and/or belief formed after a reasonable inquiry.” The ruling also notes that it can throw out objections “not well grounded in fact and/or law.”

Karisha Carriel, Melvin Gunn and Ronisha Dobine presented a litany of objections against Ford’s nominating petitions, alleging virtually every single irregularity that usually gets alleged in cases like this. 

In her report, Celeste indicated that there is plenty of evidence to suggest that objections were made in “bad faith,” without really looking at the signatures. Among other things, she found that “at least 330” sheets were marked with objections in exactly the same way, “containing exact nuances in the markings of checks and x’s which exactly lined up in columns A and B” 

In 60 cases, the objectors objected to more signatures than the number of signatures actually on the page. And Celeste found several cases where objectors objected to something that wasn’t actually illegal under state law.


Igor Studenkov is a winner of multiple Illinois Press Association awards for local government and business reporting. He has been contributing to Austin Weekly News since 2015. His work has also appeared...