Spring Election 2018: Nopenz removed from April 3 ballot for Dist. 22 county supervisor

An objection by incumbent Dist. 22 county Supervisor Erin Decker to the nominating petitions of her challenger Bruce Nopenz has been upheld by the Wisconsin Election Commission.

The ruling means Nopenz will not appear on the April 3 ballot unless he files an appeal in circuit court and is successful.

According to the commission’s decision issued Tuesday, Decker filed a nomination paper challenge complaint with Kenosha County Clerk Mary Kubicki, alleging Nopenz failed to file the required number of valid nomination signatures. The complaint alleged because Nopenz failed to complete the “name of jurisdiction or district which candidate seeks office” box in the header of his nomination papers, signatures on those pages are invalid. Additionally, Decker alleged the circulator failed to list their municipality in the Certification of Circulator, signers of various pages failed to provide their correct municipality and the circulator of several pages dated the Certification of Circulator before signatures were obtained on the page.

Kubicki determined the omission of the jurisdiction information in the header does not invalidate the signatures on the nomination papers. The County Clerk also determined that the signers who listed “Silver Lake” instead of “Salem Lakes” as their municipality of residence substantially
complied with the requirement given the recent consolidation of municipalities (Village of Silver Lake and Town of Salem) to form the Village of Salem Lakes and the fact that many residents have maintained a mailing address from the previous municipality and mail is delivered using that
municipality name.

Decker appealed Kubicki’s decision to the election commission. The commission disagreed with Kubicki in finding that the omission of municipality in the header did invalidate those signatures.

“Unfortunately for Mr. Nopenz, when he left a required field blank, finding that he substantially complied with the requirement becomes extremely difficult,” the commission decision said. “The jurisdiction in which a candidate seeks office is a required field and when candidate’s fail to include this information in the header of their nomination papers, signatures on those pages are invalid.”

Eliminating Nopenz leaves Decker unopposed on the ballot.

An appeal of the commission decision would have to be taken to circuit court no later than 30 days after the issuance of the decision.

In reaction to the decision, Decker said:

Elections are one of the most important elements of our government. Wisconsin has laws in place to ensure fair and honest elections. I followed state law by filing this complaint. Just as the Voter ID Law ensures election integrity, nomination paper laws ensure integrity of the nomination process.

Nopenz said Tuesday afternoon that he and his supporters are considering their options.

“This isn’t over yet,” said Nopenz, who added he feels a responsibility to those who signed his petition, but had their signatures ruled invalid, to consider all options.

“For her to run again unchallenged is wrong,” Nopenz said.





  1. Matt says:

    Well, he could always be a write in.

  2. Paperwork. 101. says:

    No excuse for invalid paperwork.
    To me this shows a lack of attention to detail.

    Not what we need in office.

  3. Better meeting places maybe? says:

    Maybe if Mr. Nopenz and “campaign group” met somewhere other than a local watering hole they would have filled out paperwork correctly?

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