* From a press release…
The Illinois Republican Party sent a critical “voter fraud alert” robocall this afternoon to Republican voters and election judges, asking for heightened vigilance following a rash of questionable issues at polling locations, including Republican voters watching in shock as their voting machines changed their votes from “Republican” to “Democrat.”
“This election is far too important for anything less than 100 percent transparency and 100 percent fairness. Not a single exception will be tolerated,” said Tim Schneider, Chairman of the Illinois Republican Party. “The people of Illinois are demanding a change from the failures of Pat Quinn and the Democrats in charge; we deserve nothing less than a clean and fair election.”
Voters are asked to immediately report any suspicious activity by calling or emailing TIPS@ilgop.org.
The ILGOP takes every report seriously, and is pursuing legal action where required.
Issues in the first week of early voting have included:
Schaumburg, IL: On Monday, Jim Moynihan, GOP candidate for State House, tried to vote for himself and saw the voting machine try to record his vote for his opponent instead. Election officials blamed a mysterious “calibration error.” Several similar errors were reported around the state.
Rockford, IL: On Tuesday, early voting in Rockford was suddenly shut down for hours because of two separate ballot issues.
Rock Island, IL: Congressional Candidate Bobby Schilling reported as many as 20 instances of voting machines changing Republican votes to Democrat, prompting a complaint to the Board of Elections. In the same county, Republicans were forced to take legal action to ensure full transparency and openness for poll watchers.
Danville, IL: Officials illegally began processing absentee votes last week, contrary to election law and a specific advisory from Attorney General Lisa Madigan.
“Hello this is Tim Schneider, chairman of the Illinois Republican Party. I’m calling Republicans today with an important voter fraud alert. Across Illinois, we are getting daily reports of Democrats trying to help Pat Quinn steal the vote so he can stay in office. In some places, when you try to vote Republican, your vote automatically switches to Democrat. It’s outrageous. And I need your help to stop it. When you go to vote — during early voting this week or on Election Day next Tuesday, November 4th — keep an eye out for possible voter fraud. If you see something, say something. Call our voter fraud hotline at 312-201-9000. Again, that’s 312-201-9000. Thank you and this call was paid for by the Illinois Republican Party.”
Man, talk about over-blown. It looks like they’re setting up a “Fraud at Polls!” argument if Rauner loses a close one.
* We’ve talked about the one-off problem in Schaumburg already. It’s really a non-issue. No votes were actually tabulated the wrong way. We discussed Rockford as well. It was a ballot printing error that caused the delay in early voting.
The Rock Island situation is different because Bobby Schilling is claiming 20 complaints. He’s known for being a bit of an exaggerator, however, so I’m wondering if any of those complaints have been officially filed with the proper authorities. RICO obviously needs to get its calibrations in order, but, again, I seriously doubt that any votes were actually cast the wrong way.
* And that brings us to the Danville case…
Danville election officials opened and processed a number of absentee ballots more than a week before the election, which local Republicans are calling a violation of state law and a threat to the fairness of the process.
Barbara Dreher, director of the Danville Election Commission, said this morning that her office has already put some absentee ballots through the tabulator, an electronic machine that processes the paper ballots. She said she knew it was a violation of a state statute, but absentee ballots were piling up in auxiliary bins in her office, in the Vermilion County Courthouse Annex in downtown Danville.
Putting them through the tabulator opened up space, she said.
Let’s be clear here: This is the way just about all county clerks did things for years. It’s not some new, nefarious plot. Only now that Attorney General Lisa Madigan decided that putting absentee ballots into the tabulator before an election somehow violates a state law passed nine years ago has this become an issue.
county clerk election commission was stupid. And, yes, the Republicans will likely try to get those votes thrown out - and since the Democrats have sunk millions into their early voting effort, the GOP knows who will be hurt more.
* I’ve been trying to get some clarification out of Madigan’s office for days about this topic…
Election results in DuPage County could take a day longer than usual for the Election Commission to tabulate after Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s recent opinion on the counting process.
Madigan’s statement, issued Oct. 15, said that ballots collected through early voting and absentee balloting cannot be counted before election polls close at 7 p.m. Nov. 4.
Specifically, the opinion said that running the ballots through tabulating equipment is a form of counting.
Joseph Sobecki, the DuPage commission’s assistant executive director, said waiting until 7 p.m. on election day will definitely impede how quickly they can report results.
“Most likely it would be pushed back about a day,” Sobecki said.
Madigan, a Democrat, issued an opinion last week in response to some “procedural issues” about vote tabulation, spokeswoman Natalie Bauer said. The opinion says state law is clear that no vote-counting should start until 7 p.m. That includes running mail-in and early votes through equipment to prepare them for vote-recording, a process which, Madigan said, “clearly constitutes ‘counting’ as that term is ordinarily understood.”
James Allen, spokesman for the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners, which oversees nearly 1.4 million voters, said prohibiting any activity until close of polls would mean the state’s three-largest jurisdictions – Chicago, suburban Cook County, and suburban DuPage County – “would be delayed by multiple, multiple hours before reporting even one vote.”
Allen said the board is seeking clarification from the attorney general on whether its traditional system will suffice. A machine processes and sorts the ballots and puts the results in an encrypted file that can only be ready when linked to accompanying software – something the office doesn’t do until after polls close.