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*** UPDATED x1 *** Massive fail?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

* I told subscribers about this on Monday. From the Sun-Times

A bid to change the Illinois constitution to take political mapmaking out of the hands of state lawmakers faces trouble after state election authorities Tuesday found less than half of the signatures gathered by supporters on petitions were valid.

In a sampling of 5 percent of the total signatures submitted to the State Board of Elections, only 46 percent were deemed legible and from registered voters by state election officials, said Rupert Borgsmiller, the election board’s executive director.

The reform coalition raised $2.7 million, including half a million dollars from former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, in its quest to put the question on the ballot this November.

* The Yes for Independent Maps campaign is claiming dark motives at the Board of Elections

Kolenc contended the review was conducted hastily and without uniform standards. He also alleged some election workers made unwarranted personal advances to members of his staff who were official “watchers” of the validation process.

“We’re disappointed in the process. We’ve done our homework,” Kolenc said of the petition-gathering process. “Our validation rate is above 60 percent so we feel confident our validation will lead us to the ballot.”

…Adding… So, they walked into the Board of Elections with a validation rate “above 60 percent”? As commenters have been noting, that factoid right there shows some clear problems with the way the organization functioned.

The Board of Elections randomly sampled 25,375 signatures. Out of those, they found that 11,568 were valid - which translate into an invalid rate of 54 percent. The group needs 298,400 valid signatures to get its constitutional amendment on the ballot. So, they needed at least 15,225 valid signatures out of that random sample to clear this particular hurdle.

The Board has been updating the group all along, so the reformers know where their problem signatures are. Trouble is, time is fast running out to change at least 3,657 invalid signatures into valid signatures. They have a little more than a week to pull this off

By law, the independent map campaign has until May 30 to try to prove up the validity of names that were deemed invalid. Kolenc said that process began last week and that lawyers for the group may try to seek more time. Kolenc also said the group reserves the right to challenge the signature review process in court.

After the map group attempts to restore names to the valid list, the board can conduct a second, random sample of another 5 percent of signatures if it has questions about whether it statistically has enough to appear on the ballot.

* Another possible bone of contention is that the reform group claimed it submitted 532,264 petition signatures, but the Board found only 507,467 signatures on the sheets.

Needless to say, expect a lawsuit. This is the first time the Board of Elections has done this sort of thing after a recent law change, so who knows what the courts will do

Borgsmiller also defended the process his staff used in analyzing signatures submitted by Yes! for Independent Maps, a process in which those who both favor and oppose the amendment were permitted to observe.

“I do know they’ve raised concerns about the process we have in place. I understand that. But everything we’ve done, we provide daily those signatures that were invalid to both proponents and opponents,” Borgsmiller said.

Still, that error rate is really, really high, especially considering how much money they had.

The Board is now turning to Bruce Rauner’s term limits/etc. petitions.

*** UPDATE *** The remap reform group sent an e-mail to its supporters today…

This week, we saw the state running a rushed, uneven and behind-closed-doors signature validation process. The result of that flawed process was the inaccurate claim that we didn’t collect enough signatures.

It’s time for a fact-check: We have more than enough valid signatures to earn our rightful place on the ballot. We know our validity rate is above 60% because we conducted random samples on every petition that came in our door. Only a flawed review process from the State could have led to a result so biased against us, but now we are fighting back. Our field team is working hard to set the record straight by rehabilitating the supposedly “invalid” signatures.

Here’s some of what we saw this week:

· State Board of Elections staff encouraged validators to rush through review, with a supervisor in the Chicago office repeating the directive time and time again.

· The State Board failed to give staff instructions for how exactly to examine signatures. That meant each validator used his or her own criteria for determining if petition signatures matched. Consequently, we saw wide fluctuations in validity rates per validator.

· State Board of Elections staff reviewed numerous petitions after the close of business, and without notice to the Independent Maps campaign. It was literally a back-room process.

Broken government has led us to this point, but that’s exactly why this campaign is so crucial for our state. This fight is far from over, and we are confident we will make it to the November ballot.

This campaign will continue to stand up for the work that we all did over the past year and look forward to victory on Election Day.

Onward!

Michael Kolenc

Campaign Manager

And Kolenc sent me this…

Note that I said over 60%. 60% is about what we need to make it on the ballot, 59% validity rate to be exact. I stand by the professional operation we ran - paying circulators $14 an hour, organizing volunteer teams across the state, and doing random validity checks on all petitions circulated. We have the numbers, but a rushed, uneven and back-room process has gotten us to this point.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


70 Comments
  1. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 9:19 am:

    Proof will be in the Pudding.

    There is a significant difference between signatures and … valid signatures.

    “We” may find out that difference too(?)


  2. - Scribble - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 9:25 am:

    Legibility is irrelevant so I’m not sure why that appears in the story.


  3. - Da Moat - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 9:26 am:

    The Board will not allow it on the ballot.


  4. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 9:28 am:

    If you can’t “make out” a signature submitted as someone’s allegedly signing, the legibility comes into play.


  5. - Cassiopeia - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 9:28 am:

    The public will be skeptical if the board rejects the petitions given the increasingly deepening distrust in government and politics.

    This will not end well.


  6. - x ace - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 9:28 am:

    Have confidence in Mr. Borgsmiller’s Agency. They will do it right.

    ( now on the other hand if it were ISP ,DNR , DOC, or……… ? )


  7. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 9:31 am:

    Massive fail? No. I’m sure the $2.7 million was spent. Some alleged goo-goos got a sweet payday out of it.

    Still, less than half legit? The grand poo-bahs had to know they had serious problems. How is that not fraud?

    – “Our validation rate is above 60 percent so we feel confident our validation will lead us to the ballot.–

    You submitted petitions that you thought had about 60% valid sigs? You’re the ethics-in-government guy?


  8. - Anonymous - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 9:31 am:

    I’m not sure I understand the “legibility” point either. A signature is simply a mark from a person intending that mark to be their representation that they put their name to whatever they’re agreeing to. It doesn’t have to clearly spell out the name or even look like it. If it did most doctor or lawyer signatures would be “invalid.”


  9. - Da Moat - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 9:34 am:

    Cass: It will end well for Madigan. It usually does.


  10. - MikeMacD - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 9:35 am:

    If you can’t read the printed name and/or address, you can’t validate the signature. That’s how I read the legibility sentence.


  11. - Bill White - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 9:37 am:

    298,400 / 507,467 = 58.8%

    “Our validation rate is above 60 percent”

    Wow, that is close with little margin for error.


  12. - Concerned Voter - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 9:37 am:

    I didn’t see this petition but I thought that you had to print your name also and include your address when signing it.

    Also why did they look at the YES petition first, I thought the Term Limits Petition was submitted before the YES petition.

    It will be interesting to see how they validate that petition’s sigs.


  13. - Anon - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 9:38 am:

    If the address is illegible as well as the signature, then it’s impossible to validate.

    This high failure rate reveals a difference between work done by experienced volunteers and work done by temporary employees making just above the minimum wage.


  14. - paddyrollingstone - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 9:38 am:

    Wordslinger - “You submitted petitions that you thought had about 60% valid sigs? You’re the ethics-in-government guy?”

    Awesome - brought a big smile to my face


  15. - TwoFeetThick - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 9:42 am:

    If a signature is not legible, it can be challenged.

    If someone prints rather than signs their name, out can’ve challenged.

    If someone signs their name differently than it appears on their voter registration (signing Bob rather than Robert, for example), it can be challenged.


  16. - TwoFeetThick - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 9:43 am:

    ===it can be===


  17. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 9:44 am:

    Signatures need to be seen as “consistent” with the voter’s signature of record. If an “X” is the signature of record it’s valid.

    To the legible aspect, if “Jane Doe” lives at 123 Main Street, and the signature can not be seen in any way as “Jane Doe” and it’s not a match to a signature of record, legibility comes into play…


  18. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 9:45 am:

    == unwarranted personal advances ==

    Giving Yes to Independent Maps the benefit of the doubt over the BoE on this one. That’s just too weird and unprofessional for Kolenc to make up on the spot.

    To the bigger picture: if both popular initiatives are quashed without the public getting to have their say while the legislative initiatives all make it on the ballot, the public will be even more upset with current leadership than they already are.


  19. - Walker - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 9:45 am:

    Mr. Borgsmiller’s agency has proven itself free of partisan politics over time, but they can be rigid “letter-of-the-law” reviewers.

    I hope this doesn’t become a “hanging chad” kind of cluster, with all sides just loving to come up with more problems.

    Perhaps Rauner’s term limits petition signatures, gathered by a greater ratio of paid staff with some training, will prove more clearly legitimate.

    That term limits petition itself, shouldn’t make it through the court, IMHO, because of its complex construction, and misleading public positioning.


  20. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 9:46 am:

    Two Feet, the board workers aren’t “challenging” anything. They’re examining the petitions, which obviously are a mess.

    For crying out loud, the “Yes” goo-goos think they’re only at about 60% legit.

    No conspiracy is needed to thwart sloppiness and incompetence.


  21. - Try-4-Truth - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 9:46 am:

    I’ve always thought that this effort is nothing more than an attempt by the Illinois GOP to accomplish what they couldn’t do via elections. I’d support this if an effort if these folks were this adamant about it in a red state as well (Say, Texas for example).

    To the point of the story; If the people pushing this effort thought they could just throw a lot of money at this and not put in real work, then they get what they deserve. They shouldn’t be pointing their fingers at others for their failures, they should look at themselves. They should have had the attitude of “Leave No Doubt” when they gathered and submitted the signatures. Now, there is doubt.


  22. - Just Observing - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 9:47 am:

    === I didn’t see this petition but I thought that you had to print your name also and include your address when signing it. ===

    Including space on the petition for a printed name, I believe, is optional. Campaigns include the printed name section for reasons such as this, so they can more easily identify the name of the signatory if they have to pull up that person’s voter registration and compare signature/address.


  23. - Kerfuffle - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 9:49 am:

    The game is rigged to make change difficult. And that may not be a bad thing.


  24. - Scribble - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 9:49 am:

    any signature can be challenged. The question is validity. I was presuming that the SBE was not “challenging” but rather validating. If that is their task, they ought to be doing the reverse address name search.


  25. - Percival - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 9:50 am:

    From personal experience, I do not have confidence in the ISBE staff to deal fairly with any issue that is contrary to the interests or desires of the Speaker.


  26. - Scribble - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 9:50 am:

    It’s pretty clear that the Illinois GOP had little to do with this. Committeemen, who traditionally have a high level of valid signatures, were barely incorporated in the effort.


  27. - NW Illinois Dem - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 9:51 am:

    Wordslinger is right on target. The whiz-kid reformers from YES walk in with 60% valid signatures? Admission of error and failure right off the bat. They’ve known for two years they would face a very disciplined, aggressive review process. Yes has been good at press, but not as good at the fundamentals required to succeed.


  28. - Bill White - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 9:51 am:

    Can the 5% sample be FOIA-ed?

    And scanned and posted somewhere - such as Google Docs?


  29. - Chicago Cynic - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 9:52 am:

    I feel very bad for my friends at the effort but I’m totally perplexed how they could have an error rate this high. When I spoke with them recently, they were supremely confident in the quality of their signatures. Either they were horribly wrong or there are shenanigans about. Impossible for me to say.

    I never thought this was the right place to focus on fixing our corrupt system, but I hate to see these guys fail so badly.


  30. - TwoFeetThick - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 9:52 am:

    Word:

    I know they’re not challenging, I’m just saying that signatures meeting those conditions CAN be challenged. Sloppy indeed, from the folks who always expect government to be perfect. Nice.


  31. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 9:53 am:

    –He also alleged some election workers made unwarranted personal advances to members of his staff who were official “watchers” of the validation process.–

    What is that supposed to mean? Are there “warranted” personal advances possible here?

    C’mon, Rick, if you put that in a story, explain it and let the accused have their say as well.


  32. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 10:05 am:

    To all the “victims” here blaming the Board, the “System”, politicians, who or whatever;

    An admitted 40% possible invalid signatures is the fault of the Crew collecting. The Dopes admit a high burn rate and it’s the “Board’s Fault” or “Conspiracy against …”

    Own it. The “Victim” ideal in this is pretty pathetic, given that an admitted 40% are weak sause.


  33. - Sunshine - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 10:11 am:

    Where do they find the people collecting signatures? Do they not do a cursory audit of those signatures gathered? Are the ‘collectors’ trained and monitored?

    One would think with that much money and effort being thrown at this, it would have been handled with a bit more monitoring? One would think.


  34. - Scribble - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 10:11 am:

    OW, you are definitely right that the error rate by the petition circulators was unreasonably high. So while the system has many flaws, the part that could be controlled by the map folks they didn’t control.


  35. - Bill White - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 10:11 am:

    The “real” story will be excruciatingly tedious - looking at signatures one by one. However, that is the only way to do it right.

    5% of 507,467 is 25,373

    54% invalid out of 25,272 is 13,701

    If Kolenc can assign three teams of three to this (9 people total) each team needs to look at 652 signature per day or about 81 signatures per hour.

    Demonstrate a high percentage of false positives - signatures tossed that shouldn’t have been tossed - and then we can talk.


  36. - Bill White - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 10:14 am:

    My previous comment assumes an 8 hour work day.

    I would think Bloomberg can afford to pay overtime.


  37. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 10:20 am:

    –I would think Bloomberg can afford to pay overtime.–

    I don’t think these guys should count on too many more contributions.

    People don’t like to pay twice for admittedly shoddy work.


  38. - Bill White - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 10:21 am:

    More numbers - because this * IS * about the numbers.

    60% of 25,272 is 15,163 and the Board found 11,571 valid signatures.

    Kolenc needs to find about 3,600 valid signatures among the 13,601 that were tossed. If his people can’t do that in seven business days . . .


  39. - Responsa - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 10:25 am:

    Hiring hourly workers (who are usually not invested in the cause much beyond memorizing a two sentence talking point) to fill a page with valid signatures is not the way to go about it. Unfortunately, that’s how most petitions seem to be conducted these days–not just this one.


  40. - Walker - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 10:26 am:

    Percival: I have exactly the opposite personal experience, which is why I believe they can make mistakes, but they are not partisan about it.


  41. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 10:33 am:

    No matter what they lack in organizing skills, the “Yes” folks must have some sweet talkers. They separated a murderer’s row of big hitters from some powerful checks.

    Check out that donor list. Crowns, and Pritzkers and Griffins, oh my!


  42. - Percival - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 10:34 am:

    Walker: you haven’t seen what I have. I have personally watched a very partisan act at ISBE. They are very good on the routine, but suspect on the controversial.


  43. - Walker - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 10:36 am:

    ==”unwarranted personal advances”==

    Are just wrong — but

    That makes your signatures valid?


  44. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 10:42 am:

    (Tips cap to - Scribble - for all of us here who have pointed out the signature issues)

    The Board did not say that 60% were “valid” the Dopes collecting felt. 60% were good.

    Please stop with the “bias board”, “partisan” nonsense.

    When you are defending those submitting shoddy signatures by blaming the Board any number of ways, what does it say ignoring the invalid signatures?


  45. - Walker - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 10:44 am:

    ===”You haven’t seen what I’ve seen”===

    Right back at ya.

    But I will take your word for your experience.

    To think this will fail due to bias at ISBE, still seems far-fetched to me.


  46. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 10:47 am:

    Bill White - iirc, anyone can walk in off the street and ask to see or get a copy of the signatures, just as they can with a candidate’s.


  47. - John A Logan - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 10:50 am:

    Word Slinger, you have been off your game lately. Kolenc never said he only had a 60% legit signature rate. Read the quote and interpret it properly for crying out loud. He said “Our validation rate is above 60 percent.” He never said the validation rate “is” 60%. Above means more than 60%. That could be 70 or 80 %. Try again.


  48. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 10:56 am:

    === That could be 70 or 80 %. Try again. ===

    Um, I really doubt it. Wouldn’t he say that?


  49. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 10:56 am:

    –He never said the validation rate “is” 60%. Above means more than 60%. That could be 70 or 80 %. Try again.–

    You’re right, John. “Above 60%” could mean 98%, 99%, or even 100%.

    My guess is he meant about 60% though, lol.


  50. - Chicago Bars - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 11:00 am:

    Talked to the circulators all the time. They were a constant presence at CTA stations & outside big events including sporting events. They were very upfront that it was $1 - $2 a signature and none I talked to cared if signers had signed it before or were registered voters. They were very blunt that a signature = commission. Not at all surprised that ISBE is finding lots of bad sigs.


  51. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 11:01 am:

    - John A Logan -,

    You don’t put a measuring stick number out there like 60% unless you mean…60% as your measuring stick.

    60.

    That’s the number. That’s how that works.


  52. - A guy... - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 11:01 am:

    It appears there is strong communication between the board and the petitioner reps. The system should simply go through all the steps. Beyond this, challenges to signatures often lean toward allowing in the ‘benefit of the doubt’ category. These wide petition drives always have high signature discrepancies. I prefer door to door, but that’s not realistic with these drives. As it goes forward, they may run into a spate of high legitimacy if they review a bunch from experienced petition passers. Time will tell. Hope it passes muster. It was a lot of work for the folks, paid or not.


  53. - Demoralized - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 11:05 am:

    == I do not have confidence in the ISBE staff to deal fairly with any issue that is contrary to the interests or desires of the Speaker==

    Madigan conspiracy theory number 3,264. I heard he controls the weather too.


  54. - k3 - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 11:06 am:

    How surprising that reformer-types would lack on execution….

    The ISBE is probably the best run and most fairly-run state agency, so to accuse them of malfeasance of a stretch.


  55. - Because I Said So.... - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 11:10 am:

    When you pay people $2.00 per, you are going to have a high percentage of invalid signatures. I think that is a given.
    Also, the petitions did not require names to be printed.


  56. - Archiesmom - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 11:18 am:

    My experience with the Board is a lot closer to Walker’s, and so I also believe they’re doing their review in an appropriate way. In my races, I have seen that petitions gathered by experienced folks have a much higher success rate than those on a signature commission basis. We always paid our folks on a per day basis, and had a very high validity rate - and we also had our staffers examine every sheet for validity, not just legibility, before submission. He’ll of a lot of work, but we knew what we had before submission in case of a challenge. I think it’s a case of big money trying to do the job without a lot of local grassroots backing. They may be in trouble.


  57. - Anonymous - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 11:21 am:

    ==The ISBE is probably the best run and most fairly-run state agency==

    That’s not exactly a tall hurdle to clear.


  58. - Ahoy! - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 11:28 am:

    ==The ISBE is probably the best run and most fairly-run state agency==

    “That’s not exactly a tall hurdle to clear.” = best comment of the day.


  59. - dawn - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 11:31 am:

    Quick question. If one signature is bad is the entire sheet out? Some states have that rule.


  60. - Big Debbie - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 11:43 am:

    ===Still, that error rate is really, really high, especially considering how much money they had.===

    ===When you pay people $2.00 per, you are going to have a high percentage of invalid signatures. I think that is a given.===

    Yes, when you pay people to do petition gathering, I would expect a higher rate of invalids, not lower. Plus the only place in Champaign I saw them gathering petitions were at non-political events, like the Farmer’s Market and so forth. That’s a great way to get a bunch of mostly-invalid signatures. If you are paying people, have them go door-to-door with a registered voter list. (They may have been doing this elsewhere, but not in Champaign County).

    Also, I just have to take a second and laugh. I have been approached on multiple occasions by petition signature gatherers for this initiative and each time I was grilled as to how in the word I could not support their initiative.

    This was the best one:

    “Will you sign this petition for independent legislative districts.”

    “No thank you.”

    “May I ask why not?”

    “Because I don’t believe in it.”

    ***Pause***

    “What do you mean?”

    “I mean I don’t believe in your initiative and don’t want to help it get on the ballot, although I think it will.”

    “But it is for independent maps, have you even seen some of the crazy districts they are drawing? Like this one here in Chicago.” [Points to a poster board with congressional districts drawn, to Luis Gutiérrez’s district]

    “That district is drawn to increase minority representation in Congress, specifically Latinos.”

    “And you think that is RIGHT!”

    “Um, yes.”

    “Well if it was split in two they could get two latino congressman.”

    “A minority can be elected in any district. The point is to guarantee at least one majority-latino district. And your amendment doesn’t even effect congressional races. Do you remember when Champaign County tried an independent map drawing commission and then the republicans blamed democrats of secretly injecting politics into the process behind the scenes after the next election when democrats claims a one seat majority?”

    “Yes, but they did!”

    “And that’s why it will never work at the state level, either.”

    Sorry, for the rant, but I have been annoyed by these people (in Champ I think they are volunteers, not paid) who just expect support, and haven’t thought past the word “independent.”


  61. - Da Moat - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 11:43 am:

    Dawn: It is my understanding that if the circulator is not a registered voter they throw the entire sheet out.


  62. - paddyrollingstone - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 12:15 pm:

    Awesome Big Debbie. The guy in front of the Daley Center was as about as professional as a little league game. When I said I didn’t believe in them, he started yelling, “Yeah - your part of the system! You’re going down! Madigan’s going down!” What an idiot.


  63. - Been there, done that - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 12:18 pm:

    Circulators must only be 18 and a US Citizen; they do not need to be a registered voter. If they falsify their information in the oath portion of the petition, or the petition is not properly notarized, the whole sheet can be thrown out. Only signatures on the sheet that are found to be invalid are thrown out, not the whole sheet of signatures - unless a pattern of fraud is established.


  64. - CircularFiringSquad - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 12:23 pm:

    O.K. CA 1 Map Fix goes down in flames….now on the paid petition passers who worked for Shakey Mitt Rauner. Since the Map Fix had some Goo-Goo’s sprinkled among the rich wing nuts one might assume some of their pages might be legit. Not so.
    Got to figure ShakeyMitt’s term limit scheme is even weaker. Wow. 4 for 4 on Kinky Kompanies, Phoney Petitions, No budget plan….
    The list never ends
    What will Mr. Shrimp say today?


  65. - lake county democrat - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 1:14 pm:

    Big Debbie - no, L.G.’s district was drawn to ensure at least one Latino rep rather than potentially have two districts with Latino Reps, sacrificing two districts which would have had Latino “kingmaking” power on the agenda regardless of the race of who was represented. And this proposal governs local government districts, where Latinos claim they are under represented because of gerrymandering.


  66. - LincolnLounger - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 1:42 pm:

    I am a big supporter of this effort; however, I happen to be personal friends with one of the key administrators at ISBE overseeing the validation checks. I know that he personally is very much in favor of this getting on the ballot. I also believe they run a squeaky clean shop under Borgsmiller and those before him.

    To hint at dark conspiracies smacks of desperation to me on the folks who pocketed so much money from Rauner, et al.

    I will be very sad if this does not make the cut, and I fear that to be the case. Frankly, I thought the constitutional issues would be the hurdle, not the signature amount.


  67. - Bill White - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 3:06 pm:

    Seven business days to find ~3,600 false positives wrongly tossed out of the 13,701 that were tossed is not that high a hurdle *IF* at least 60% of the signatures are indeed valid.

    Stop the trash talking about broken government and start counting.

    *IF* a high percentage of the 13,701 were indeed wrongly tossed *THEN* folks should be complaining about the Board of Elections.


  68. - A guy... - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 3:27 pm:

    Yep. What he said^^^


  69. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 6:15 pm:

    @Big Debbie

    Hilarious.


  70. - Skirmisher - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 9:05 am:

    Unless the Board of Elections has been considerably transformed and reformed since I was in state government, then it is a highly political creature that will pretty much serve the needs of the political establishment in power. This thing was DOA.


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        * Twitter Gets a New Welcome Mat
        * Meet the computer scientist trying to digitize, analyze and visualize our past

        * Less may be more with Hawk Harrelson
        * Final stretch of at-bats a gauge for Avisail
        * Wins not representative of lefties' August outings
        * Rough fourth inning dooms Carroll, Sox to defeat
        * Sale locks arms with Scherzer; Bassitt to debut
        * Tigers 7, White Sox 1: Ugly fourth extends ugly stretch
        * Rough fourth inning dooms Carroll, Sox to defeat


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        * Illinois Governor, whoever he is, can use power.....
        * Voters don't need term limits, they need to vote..
        * 5 things to know about 2014 governor's races..
        * 5 things to know about House races this fall as.....
        * Fracking industry officials donating to Rauner..
        * Quinn campaign: Rauner plan would cost teaching.....
        * Obama's campaign no-fly zone..
        * Quinn grants 38 clemency requests..


        * GOP sees gains in Illinois voters tuning out
        * U of I smoking ban applies to football tailgaters
        * Man charged in hunting knife attack on Chicago bus
        * Engine trouble force cancellation of Amtrak train
        * Ingleside middle school teacher wanted for assault
        * State agency issues long-awaited fracking rules
        * U of I facing scrutiny over job-offer decision
        * Illinois governor grants 38 clemency requests
        * Highway interchange named for former Chicago mayor
        * 30-year prison terms in Decatur home invasion

        * State of Illinois posts applications for medical marijuana businesses
        * DNR issues long-awaited ‘fracking’ rules
        * Quinn grants 38 clemency requests
        * IDNR issues long-awaited ‘fracking’ rules
        * Court rules state retirees can stop paying health insurance premiums
        * Governor hopefuls rip each other on hiring, taxes
        * Fracking industry officials donating to Rauner
        * IDNR set to release fracking rules Friday
        * DNR: $1 hunting, fishing licenses for Illinois seniors not ready
        * Renovation of Illinois Supreme Court building completed

        * American Airlines fares back on Orbitz after deal
        * Meet Bruce Rauner, the big spender
        * Organic grocer pulls plug on plans for old Fox & Obel site
        * Chicago business barometer rebounds in August
        * Long-awaited fracking rules released


        * Aurora couple on O’Hare shuttle bus ‘landed in a pile of humans’ after crash
        * Joliet woman guilty in double-murder; two more to stand trial
        * Ex-Cook County worker charged with fraud in grant program
        * Women at work: Female ministers find obstacles on path to pulpit
        * Feds: Teacher allegedly coaxed teen into taking pornographic pictures
        * Firefighter among two injured in South Chicago fire
        * Renaming interchange a fitting tribute to Byrne
        * Critic of Israel doesn’t belong on Gaza fact-finding panel
        * Speed up DNA testing


        * Man killed, 10 hurt in city shootings
        * Police: Suspect cut man's face during CTA bus dispute
        * Police: Man killed in West Side hit-and-run
        * Quinn grants 38 clemency petitions
        * 2 firefighters on way to work come to aid of driver, passengers in bus crash
        * Fracking approaches final hurdle in Illinois
        * Judge limits Harvey from misusing water cash
        * Burr Oak Cemetery monument dedicated
        * Judge tosses challenge to flame retardant rules
        * Man convicted in Schaumburg hotel robbery acquitted of attempted murder


        * Donated Breast Milk Helps Sick Infants
        * DNR Releases Fracking Rules
        * Update From Ferguson Via KWMU's Rachel Lippmann
        * Listen to State Week - August 29, 2014
        * Inspector's Report Reveals Clout Hiring At IDOT
        * 'Belleville' The Movie Is NOT A Documentary
        * Journalist and doctor encourage honest conversations about death
        * Libertarians Survive Illinois GOP's Ballot Challenge
        * Undocumented Immigrants Call For Presidential Orders
        * State Retirees To Stop Paying Health Premiums


        * State of Illinois posts applications for medical marijuana businesses
        * DNR issues long-awaited ‘fracking’ rules
        * Dave Bender: Hope for the unfinished business of immigration reform
        * Quinn grants 38 clemency requests
        * E.J. Dionne: 2014 and the limits of rage
        * Esther Cepeda: Farmers markets, here I come
        * Rep. Tom Morrison: What Illinois could learn from other states
        * Court rules state retirees can stop paying health insurance premiums
        * Governor hopefuls rip each other on hiring, taxes
        * Fracking industry officials donating to Rauner


        * Prosecutors crack down on truancy; Marissa teen calls mom's charge 'bogus'
        * More than half of all East St. Louis public school students chronically truant
        * Quinn's appointee to Prisoner Review Board has Clayborne connection
        * LIVE! Illini season opener
        * Illinois vs Youngstown State WDWS Football Pre-Game 8-30-14
        * Animals put on good shows despite the heat
        * Saturday SportsTalk 8-30-14
        * Coffee with the Plant Experts 8-30-14
        * Birthday surprise for 8-year-old twins
        * Medical marijuana applications start Tuesday


        * Live game action: Maine West vs. Proviso East
        * Live game action: Glenbard North vs. Centerville (OH)
        * Live game action: IC Catholic vs. Bishop McNamara
        * EU to slap new sanctions on Russia over Ukraine
        * Ukrainian civilian plane crashes in Algeria

        * Once-Vulnerable Freshman on Safer Ground i...
        * Tom Kacich: Rauner's focus will soon shift...
        * Shimkus not taking anything for granted de...
        * Shimkus Supports Strikes, Criticizes Presi...
        * #DirtyDenier$ Day 5: Congressman John M. S...
        * Politics Notebook: Shimkus to meet with ve...
        * GOP congressmen from Illinois, Kentucky to...
        * Facebook, Local Chambers of Commerce Host ...
        * Shimkus seeks investigation of federal dis...
        * Congressman recognizes Thomasboro's 150th ...

        * Congressional Authors of E-Cigarette Marke......
        * Congressional Authors of E-Cigarette Marke......
        * Congressional Authors of E-Cigarette Marke......
        * Congressional Authors of E-Cigarette Marke......
        * Congressional Authors of E-Cigarette Marke......

        * Putin Hopeful Russia Won’t Lose Right to H......
        * Susquenita enters Tri-Valley League under ......
        * Soccer-Putin hopeful Russia won't lose rig......
        * Putin hopeful Russia won't lose right to h......

        * Inside Tarpgate
        * The Weekend Desk Report
        * American ISIS terrorist killed in Syria was born in Illinois
        * Economic activism: What happens when your money becomes theirs
        * WSJ says Rauner would face Christie-like challenges with Democratic majority
        * New York couple, fined $13,000 for not hosting gay weddings, closes venue
        * John Dillon. The state’s legal defense of pension theft? Think self-defense or insanity.
        * Keeping retirement weird. The color line.
        * Frustrated? No. We are people with a vision of a city that works for its people.
        * Circle Interchange Renamed For Former Mayor Jane Byrne


        * Quinn Refuses to Answer New IDOT Questions
        * IDNR Delivers Revised Rules to Implement Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act - Rules strengthened to ensure public participation, improve transparency, toughen penalties and protect the environment
        * Governor Quinn Proclaims September as “Recovery Month” in Illinois - Encourages people to speak up about mental illness and substance abuse
        * Governor Quinn Dedicates Jane Byrne Interchange - Governor Renames Circle Interchange in Honor of Chicago’s First and Only Female Mayor to Date
        * Governor Pat Quinn Takes Clemency Action




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