To Collect or Not to Collect?

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Local party candidates are flipping the calendar counting down the number of days to the February Primary and April Election. Potential candidates this spring are just beginning to turn to voters for support.

Sept. 14 was the first day anyone running in Rockford for mayor or alderman could collect petitions from voters, but starting this early is causing some concern.

While many are making sure they are registered to vote, 2005 candidates are making sure their name is on the spring ballot. Democratic candidate for Rockford Mayor Joe Wilson headed to the Rockford board of elections office Sept. 14 to pick up his candidate packet and was given this advice.

Wilson tells 23 News, "When I received papers they said I was not allowed to solicit papers till after the November Election."

But the Board of Elections office is not allowed to give legal advice to potential candidates about filing for any office.

Executive director of the Rockford Board of Elections Nancy Strain says, "We want voters to know that they won't see these candidates on the ballot till February or April ballots."

The elections office says often there is confusion when candidates start collecting signatures in order to run in the spring. A similar situation has happened with at least two other candidates running for Rockford city alderman.

All potential candidates were able to get their packets and start collecting petitions. The filling period for candidate for alderman or mayor is Dec. 6 - 14.