Ruling on DeKalb alderman’s ballot spot faces appeal

DeKalb County Judge expected to weigh in March 29 on McAdams’ candidacy for DeKalb 5th Ward alderman

DeKalb City Council Ward 5 alderman Scott McAdams (right) listens as Derek Van Buer, one of the two DeKalb residents who filed objections against him, speaks Friday, Jan. 13, 2023, during a City of DeKalb Electoral Board hearing. The hearing was held to decide if incumbent McAdams, who is running unopposed for DeKalb’s 5th Ward aldermanic seat, should be removed from the ballot due to objections filed by two residents regarding signatures and filing procedure.

DeKALB – As early voting begins Thursday, a DeKalb County judge has yet to weigh in on the fate of the incumbent in the race for DeKalb’s fifth ward alderman.

Scott McAdams’ name will appear as early voters head to cast their ballots Thursday. DeKalb County Court Chief Judge Bradley Waller is expected to weigh in on an appeal to overturn McAdams’ spot on the ballot days before the April 4 election at 10 a.m. March 29 at the DeKalb County Courthouse in Sycamore.

McAdams maintained optimism that he will prevail in court.

“I am confident I will remain on the ballot,” McAdams said.

While voters can cast their ballots for McAdams starting Thursday, the judge’s decision could negate those votes, though the public won’t know until late March, the DeKalb County Clerk and Recorder’s Office confirmed Tuesday.

McAdams faced an initial appeal to his DeKalb City Council spot in January when two DeKalb residents alleged his candidacy papers were not properly bound and included invalid signatures. The DeKalb Electoral Board, however, sided with McAdams, who remains on the ballot.

“I am confident I will remain on the ballot.”

—  DeKalb Ward 5 Alderman Scott McAdams

McAdam’s faces some opposition as two DeKalb residents are waging write-in candidacies for the fifth ward seat. They are Derek Van Buer and Tom Riley. Van Buer has been outspoken against his opponent, and was one of two who filed an initial appeal questioning his candidacy with the city.

Van Buer and DeKalb resident Mark Charvat filed an appeal with the city of DeKalb last month to remove McAdams from the ballot, which was denied by the Electoral Board. They have now asked a DeKalb County judge to weigh in.

They contend that the removal of McAdams’ candidacy is warranted and have called into question the Electoral Board’s decision.

DeKalb County Clerk and Recorder Tasha Sims said voters should know, if McAdams is removed from the ballot, they can’t vote again for the Ward 5 race and their vote will be voided. Their ballot otherwise will remain unchanged.

“I just wanted to get out the information so everybody knows that if there is a change, for whatever reason, and they already did cast their ballot, they can’t come and vote again,” Sims said. “I just want to make sure that people understand that ... just that race will be voided if there is a change for any reason. Every other vote will count.”

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