Appellate Court Dismisses Referendum Appeal on Basis of Discrimination Not On Basis of Allegations
NAPERVILLE, Ill., – The 2nd Illinois Appellate Court issued a decision March 6 dismissing an appeal by members of Naperville Smart Meter Awareness (NSMA) to place a non-binding referendum question on the ballot allowing residents in Naperville to vote on the costly and highly controversial smart meter program.
Residents will be denied the opportunity to weigh in on the March 20, 2012 primary ballot on the basis of discrimination and not on the dismissal of the allegations of misconduct. The Appellate dismissed the case as moot, citing they are “skeptical of any remedy that disenfranchises an entire class of voters (particularly troubling is that the class that would be disenfranchised in this case includes members of the military serving overseas).” Ballots have already been printed and sent overseas to registered voters.
“The Appellate court is essentially saying that by putting the question on the ballot at this late date, there are people that would not be given the opportunity to vote – the early, absentee and overseas voters. This decision now eliminates that same right for the other 95% or more of residents who will vote on March 20.
At the same time, there are thousands of residents who are currently being discriminated against by having the meters forced upon them, not being fully informed of their rights to retain their analog meter, and by way of threats of penalty costs, being unable to protect their families because they cannot afford to do so,” stated Kim Bendis, president of NSMA.
“What the order does not address is the reason for the appeal: misconduct, bias and improper procedure of the Electoral Board. The city should not be celebrating this as a victory. The outstanding investigations by the Attorney General into the city’s Open Meetings Act violations and the federal lawsuit are still in process. All this shows is that the city intentionally participated in delaying this process long enough to block the voice of the people and misused tax dollars to do so. That is hardly something to be proud of.”
Members of NSMA and community volunteers are contemplating opportunities to appeal the order in the Illinois State Supreme Court and initiating another referendum question for the November ballot.
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Naperville Smart Meter Awareness is 501(c)(4) non-profit group of concerned citizens educating the public about the risks of wireless smart meters. We are comprised of lawyers, technology professionals, health advocates, accountants, business owners and parents in our community.
Smart meters are currently being installed in Naperville despite a request for federal injunction and on-going investigations by the Illinois Attorney General into Open Meetings Act Violations by the City of Naperville in conjunction with this project. Smart meters pose risks in the areas of privacy, costs, security, and health and are not federally mandated. Our mission is to educate the residents of Naperville by bringing all pertinent information to the public and in doing so, advocate for a smarter solution in Naperville.