Election officials in Chicago say the start of early voting is likely to be delayed because of so many candidate ballot challenges.
Early voting is slated to begin statewide [this] week on Thursday.
Chicago Board of Election Commissioners spokesman Jim Allen said Friday that with rulings pending on which candidates are going to be on the ballot, voting equipment won’t be programmed, tested and ready for ballots in several languages by Thursday.
Allen declined to offer further details, saying the board would issue more information Monday.
I don’t know if there are more challenges than usual this cycle, but resolutions to these cases do seem to be taking far too long. They went back and forth on Sen. Silverstein’s case so many times I lost count.
We need a better system if we want to start voting this early.
*** UPDATE *** Press release…
Although Feb. 8, 2018 was the new statutory starting date for Early Voting, there remain ongoing cases involving objections to candidates’ petitions. As a result, ballots are not ready, and the programming and testing of voting equipment cannot be completed by Feb. 8. The Board of Election Commissioners anticipates that balloting systems will be fully tested and available by Feb. 21, if not sooner.
Objections to certain countywide and statewide candidates’ nominating petitions were resolved recently or still are being resolved. Programming and testing of the equipment in the city’s more than 1,000 ballot variations in four languages is still under way.
The Board will update the Early Voting schedule at chicagoelections.com as soon as possible. Any voters who arrive at the Chicago Election Board to use Early Voting in the meantime will be provided with an application to Vote By Mail. Chicago voters also may apply online to Vote By Mail at chicagoelections.com.
* Speaking of challenges…
On Friday, Scott Drury, Democratic candidate for Attorney General, filed his Notice of Appeal, beginning the process of contesting the decision of a Circuit Court of Cook County associate judge who ordered Drury’s name removed from the Democratic ballot for Illinois Attorney General. In the Notice, Drury asks the appellate court to reverse the decision of the circuit court and affirm the original decision of the State Officers Electoral Board which found that Drury’s name should remain on the ballot. Drury also asks the court to order that his name be printed on every ballot issued during the pendency of the appeal in order to avoid any prejudice.
On Friday, Drury also filed an emergency motion to expedite the appeal and stay the circuit court’s order, pending completion of the appeal. In the motion, Drury contends that, absent a stay, a new election may be necessary because of the potential taint of ballots being issued without his name. Drury further contends that a stay is necessary to protect his rights and the rights of voters.
The circuit court’s decision has already begun to wreak havoc on the election process. The Chicago Board of Elections has indicated that it is going to delay the start of early voting, in part, because of the pendency of Drury’s case. “The fact that Mike Madigan would rather taint the election for Illinois’ chief legal officer than have an attorney general he cannot control, demonstrates how little he cares for Illinois residents and how much he cares about his self-preservation,” said Drury.
The appeal and related motions are pending before the Illinois Appellate Court – First Judicial District in Chicago, Illinois. The court has not yet ruled on Drury’s motion.
Drury is being represented by Casey Westover of Reed Smith LLP and Patrick Dwyer, III of Dwyer & Coogan, P.C.