The popular activist, running for re-election (she'd won the previous election with a landslide 82% of the vote), was a sure thing to keep her seat.
But on the day after New Year's 1996, a small army of lawyers filed into the hearing room of the Chicago Board of Elections. In a blink, Alice Palmer's name had been struck from the ballot.
So, too, were the names of three other candidates on the Democratic primary ballot — all eliminated on the basis of minor "violations," most of them as picayune as not crossing a "t" or failure to dot an "i."
When the dust settled only a single name remained on the ballot: Barack Hussein Obama. He "swept" to victory... unopposed.
Here is the documented history of that series of events, including quotes from Obama: