Former Board of Education member sues election official in attempt to get on ballot

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Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 10:32 PM MDT|Updated: Sep. 19, 2023 at 5:35 AM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - A former member of District 49′s Board of Education is suing an election official, claiming she was unfairly excluded from their ballot.

Ivy Liu had previously faced controversy after posting a quote from Adolf Hitler on social media. At the time, she represented Director District 4 on the Board of Education.

Months later, though, the district was changed. Because of redistricting, Director District 4 was changed to Director District 1. Liu had been elected to serve a two-year term in November of 2021, but when the district lines were redrawn, she became ineligible to seek re-election in the district she lived in at the time.

She told 11 News she planned on running for a seat in Director District 5. However, after deadlines for candidates passed, she was not included on the ballot.

According to Lanette DePaul, the election official for D-49, Liu did not meet the required number of valid signatures to appear on the ballot.

Liu took the matter to court Monday, claiming she had met the requirements. Court documents obtained by 11 News show Liu filed a lawsuit against DePaul, leading to a morning court session that lasted hours.

“Ivy Liu is suing the election official Lanette DePaul to get Ivy on the ballot for Director District 5,” D-49 Board of Education President John Graham confirmed.

Liu told 11 News she believes the redistricting was a targeted case of gerrymandering.

“The folks who gerrymandered me out did not want me to run to improve academic performance and fight indoctrination,” Liu told 11 News via text.

She had previously campaigned under promises to end “woke ideologies and gender indoctrination,” calling things like Critical Race Theory and mask mandates “corruption of American values and principles.”

Despite her accusations of gerrymandering and claims that she should legally be allowed on the November ballot, Graham said DePaul testified otherwise.

“Lanette testified today that not only did Miss Liu hand in certain documentation after the deadline,” he said, “but she also did not have enough signatures on the ballot. I think they testified there were 46 signatures that Miss DePaul was able to verify.”

That would fall short of the 50 required.

Unless a decision is made in Liu’s favor, Mark Heil will remain the sole candidate for Director District 5. He attended a forum for other D-49 Board candidates hosted by students.

In the forum, he commented on the state of D-49′s board over the past few years, not naming Liu, but referencing past controversy.

“There’s just been a lot of yelling at each other, there’s been a lot of false accusations in social media as well as in the room, there’s been a lot of unfounded conspiracy theories that have taken up so much time, that’s really gotten in the way of dealing with the ordinary business of running a school district,” Heil said.

Both Graham and Liu said a decision in her lawsuit is expected Tuesday, at the soonest. However, both were unable to say whether this decision will result in her name being added to the November ballot. They both said they could comment further after the decision comes down.