The race for alder in the heavily-student populated 8th district turned ugly this week, with a challenge to both Ald. Scott Resnick's nominating petitions and his integrity.
Christian Hansen, who is challenging Resnick, filed a complaint with the city clerk's office this week, noting that Resnick's nominating petitions (PDF) do not include the year in the date column, as required. His complaint also notes that one person, Kelly Bard, signed the petition twice.
And Hansen complained that several signatures were illegible -- a complaint the clerk's office doesn't consider.
Candidates need 20 signatures to get on the ballot; Resnick submitted 30.
Hansen says the mistakes are significant. "If you can't dot your 'Is' and cross your 'Ts' how can we get laws passed?" he asks. "The [mistakes] needed to be brought to the attention of residents."
Hansen says he won't push the complaint if the clerk's office rules in Resnick's favor. "Should [the clerk's office] decide they want to be lenient, we're not going to make this a court case."
The clerk's office requires Resnick to file an affidavit of correction to have the people who circulated the petitions write the dates next to the signatures. The deadline is Thursday at 5 p.m., and Resnick says this has already been done.
Resnick called the complaint an attempt to suppress voting. "My opponent used a tactic fairly similar to one Republicans used to challenge the recall nominations," he says. "Spending so much time and energy focusing on voter suppression is disappointing to say the least."
With only two candidates in the 8th district, there will be no primary and both will square off in the April 2 general election. Scott Resnick, vice president of Hardin Design & Development, a web application company, is seeking a second term. Christian Hansen is a board member of the Madison Community Cooperative who has been active in Capitol protests.