AUSTIN — Early voting in the 28th Ward has been paused so disqualified challenger Shawn Walker can be added back to the ballot, election authorities said.
Voters who live in the 28th Ward won’t be able to pick up ballots until they can be reprinted to include Walker, who was originally kicked off the ballot because election authorities determined he didn’t submit enough signatures to run.
The Illinois Appellate Court ruled Friday that Walker has more than enough valid signatures to run for alderperson and his name should be put back on the ballot, according to court documents.
The ruling means incumbent Ald. Jason Ervin (28th) is no longer running unopposed.
Two more hearings will take place this week in which the electoral board will make its final determination about Walker’s candidacy, meaning it’s possible Walker could be removed from the ballot again, said Max Bever, a spokesperson for the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners.
Through a spokesperson, Ervin declined to comment until after the hearings.
Although the decision isn’t completely final, all early voting touchscreen machines had to be reprogrammed Monday to include Walker’s name to comply with the court order, Bever said.
Because of that, early voting in all 50 locations was delayed Monday as workers updated the machines, but all sites were open as of noon, Bever said.
The 359 early voting ballots already cast in the 28th Ward will be processed and counted, Bever said. Those who have already voted won’t be able to request a new ballot.
Voters in the 28th Ward will be contacted when early voting resumes, Bever said. If Walker is removed from the ballot again, voters will be notified.
Ervin was appointed by former Mayor Richard M. Daley in January 2011. In 2015, he ran unopposed after knocking his seven challengers off the ballot through petition challenges. In 2019, Ervin was reelected in a four-way race.
The 28th Ward includes parts of Austin, East Garfield Park, West Garfield Park, Pilsen, Little Village, Little Italy and the West Loop.
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