Lawsuit Claims Signatures Were Wrongfully Invalidated
Old Town resident Stella Padilla has filed a lawsuit against the City Clerk’s office demanding that she be put on the ballot as a mayoral candidate.
The suit alleged that City Clerk Natalie Howard’s office improperly invalidated scores of nominating petition signatures that Padilla had submitted in an effort to get on the Oct. 3 ballot.
Candidates needed 3,000 valid signatures from registered city voters to become a candidate. But Padilla’s campaign came up 171 signatures short.
In the lawsuit, which she filed herself, Padilla argued that the Clerk’s process for vetting petition signatures was “unsophisticated and flawed.” She also argued that the city has no standard operating procedures to determine whether signatures are valid or not.
“It is at best a hit and miss and arbitrary process left to the competency and potential individual discretion/bias of the person reviewing each page [of signatures] at the City Clerk’s office,” the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit said that Padilla’s campaign had rechecked nearly 100 signatures that the Clerk’s office had invalidated and had found them to be valid.
Padilla was not immediately available for comment.
A hearing is scheduled on Padilla’s lawsuit at 9:30 a.m. Friday before state District Court Judge Victor Lopez.
Originally, 16 people said they were running for mayor. Of those, nine collected the required 3,000 valid signatures.
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