UPDATED: The county board is likely to have one fewer contested race
An appeal has been file in District 3 that Jo Ann Egelkrout does not have enough signatures to get on the ballot
UPDATE: Since publishing this piece, The Wausonian has learned from the county clerk that Jo Ann Egelkrout has appealed to the Wisconsin Election Commission the clerk’s determination that she does not have enough signatures to appear on the ballot. According to the clerk, she has until Feb. 1 or respond, and intends to do so. The story has been update to reflect that information.
The number of contested Marathon County Board races has declined from 14 to 13. That’s because one candidate is out after a successful challenge by her opponent, unless her appeal is successful.
In District 3, Kody Hart, the incumbent who works for Wausau as a deputy clerk and once headed the county Democrats, challenged two signatures on Egelkrout’s nomination papers.
Both challenges were upheld, and one of two challenges the clerk herself filed were upheld and that left Egelkrout short of the 50 signatures needed to be on the ballot. One of the clerk’s objections was for an incorrect date - Egelkrout filed an affidavit that stated it was obtained on 1/2/24, not 1/2/23 as listed on the form. That one was allowed, but another one without an address was not.
Of the two Hart challenged, one was for a name that wasn’t printed. Egelkrout argued that because the signer wasn’t a native English speaker, an exception should be made. But Trueblood wrote that after consulting with the county attorney, the law had to be followed. And the other was because someone had signed both Egelkrout’s and Hart’s signatures, and because the person signed Hart’s first, it counts for him.
Egelkrout has appealed the clerk’s decision with the Wisconsin Elections Commission. The county clerk will have until Feb. 1 to respond, and tells The Wausonian that she intends to do so.
Another challenge came from Kristin Conway, a former Schofield City Council member. Conway challenged Scott Poole’s residency. (Conway also challenged one of Cindy Beaty’s signatures, but that challenge was overruled.)
The Wausonian looked at the evidence - Poole works as an aid for State Rep. Pat Snyder and has registered to vote as far back as 2014 and as recently as last spring in the city of Middleton, part of the Madison metro area.
Online white page listings have Poole as living in Middleton. And another state representative told The Wausonian that aids prior to the pandemic worked full time at the capital, but since the pandemic are allowed to work part of their time at home.
None of it was conclusive — Poole could have recently moved, deciding to commute to Madison for work when he needed to be in the capital. But it cast enough doubt that it was worth looking into.
The Wausonian reached out to Poole prior to learning there had been an official challenge. Poole responded several days later asking what the deadline for a response would be.
But by then the matter had been settled in the clerk’s office. Poole had signed an affidavit attesting that he does in fact live at the Rib Mountain address he says he does, and provided a copy of his driver’s license. I have seen both myself, though for obvious reasons won’t be sharing his driver’s license.
I responded to him that since I had seen the evidence after having sent that email, that I was satisfied he did live in the district, but would welcome any further response he cared to send. Poole as of this posting didn’t respond any further.
Conway also challenged a signature on Cindy Beaty’s nomination papers, but that challenge was not successful.
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