Rep. Lauren Underwood Moves to Dismiss Frivolous Election Contest

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-Ill.), who last November won the race for Illinois’s 14th Congressional District by more than 5,000 votes, filed a motion to dismiss her challenger’s frivolous U.S. House election contest on Wednesday.

Unsuccessful Republican nominee James Oberweis — a perennial candidate for offices up and down the ballot in Illinois — filed a notice of contest that contained only speculative allegations of fraud and irregularity, claiming without facts or evidence that officials unlawfully administered the election and allowed nonresident voters to cast ballots. “Mr. Oberweis repeatedly misinterprets both the law and the facts, mischaracterizing evidence, improperly interpreting data and statistics, and betraying a hopeless misunderstanding of Illinois’s election statutes and voting requirements,” Underwood’s attorneys wrote. “He has failed to plead—let alone prove—grounds sufficient to change the result of the election, and his contest must be dismissed.”

The motion to dismiss emphasizes that Oberweis’s “notice also suffers from a failure of arithmetic” since he has not plausibly alleged that even a single unlawful ballot was cast or counted, let alone the 5,374 votes needed to overturn Underwood’s victory.

“Mr. Oberweis’s kitchen-sink approach to this election contest fails at every level, from improper service to a wholly and fatally insufficient notice. No amount of speculation, innuendo, or exclamation points can change the fact that, for multiple reasons, none of his claims demonstrates that he was elected to represent Illinois’s Fourteenth Congressional District.” The election was free, fair and properly administered, the motion concludes, and the House should promptly dismiss Oberweis’s contest.

Read Underwood’s motion to dismiss the contest here.

Learn more about the contest here.