Liebertto stay on ballot, Forslof says

Published on Thu, Sep 27, 2007 by Jack Kintner

Read More News

Liebert to stay on ballot, Forslof says

By Jack Kintner

Whatcom County Auditor Shirley Forslof determined earlier this week that first ward city council member John Liebert’s name will remain on the general election ballot to be mailed out October 17.
This is despite reports that he has been found to not be living within the boundaries of the ward he represents as Blaine has informally defined it for the past 11 years.

Liebert himself readily admits this mistake but said he was told he lived in the first ward by both city and county officials when he first ran for office in 1999.

State law requires that a candidate must be a regularly registered voter within the geographical area the candidate seeks to represent at the time of filing for office with the county auditor.

Liebert’s mistaken registration came to light when local realtor Chuck Green considered running against Liebert, checked the maps and found the discrepancy which he reported to Forslof.

But according to Forslof, since Blaine never formally designated the boundaries of the first and second wards in Liebert’s neighborhood, his status is not illegal so much as it is unclear.

“John Liebert will remain on the Blaine city ballot on the advice of the Whatcom County prosecuting attorney and the Secretary of State’s Office,” Forslof said Tuesday. Green later decided not to run for that position and will not appear on the ballot.

He will, however, run as a candidate for the Blaine school board.
Forslof added that keeping Liebert’s name on the ballot allows for a court challenge to Liebert’s election afterward and a remedy for removal if he is found ineligible to hold office. “If his name was removed from the ballot first and he was later found to be eligible,
then no remedy would exist.”