Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x1 - Feb. 21 start *** Chicago delays start of early voting
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*** UPDATED x1 - Feb. 21 start *** Chicago delays start of early voting

Monday, Feb 5, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Ugh….

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 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

* 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.


  1. - wordslinger - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 9:18 am:

    An AG candidate who can’t file the right paperwork on time doesn’t exactly inspire a lot of confidence. Every other one managed to do it.

  2. - Back to the Mountains - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 9:19 am:

    == “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 fact that Drury blames someone else for him not following the law demonstrates how little he cares for Illinois residents and how much he cares about self-preservation.

  3. - HTR - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 9:24 am:

    == resolutions to these cases do seem to be taking far too long. ==

    Having worked on a couple ballot challenges this cycle, it seemed like the candidate signature checks progressed on time, but the hearings in front of the board have been slow.

  4. - Moe Berg - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 9:40 am:

    It will be interesting to see what Drury does after he is out of public office in 2019. His personality is so brittle and alienating that it’s hard to see a major law firm want to hire him or even one of the goo-goo groups bring him on. Maybe he can work at his dad’s law firm.

  5. - BIG R.Ph - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 10:29 am:

    We need a better system if we want to start voting this early—-
    We need to eliminate early voting and go back to the way it was. It is a duty and privilege to vote and should all take place on one day. The current system is very costly for election districts

  6. - TopHatMonocle - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 11:05 am:

    Cook County Clerks office was asleep at the wheel and dragged some objections out much longer than necessary with scheduling and starting signature checks.

    And the last case being decided is Fritz Kaegi’s objection against Andrea Raila, so maybe it’s his fault. He must really hate democracy…. kidding I think.

  7. - Joanne - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 11:42 am:

    We really do need to update our voting system. This is amusing.

  8. - MC Hammer - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 11:54 am:

    Is early voting delayed just in Cook County? Or elsewhere too?

  9. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 12:01 pm:

    Most studies show that extended early voting depresses overall turnout, while same-day registration, which we now have in IL, increases turnout. Now that we have AVR in illinois, the law should be changed to only allow 2 weeks of early voting.

  10. - Blue dog dem - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 12:15 pm:

    I blame the Russians.

  11. - Precinct Captain - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 1:59 pm:

    ==- BIG R.Ph - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 10:29 am:==

    it is a RIGHT, R-I-G-H-T to vote. Period.

  12. - Precinct Captain - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 2:03 pm:

    ==- MC Hammer - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 11:54 am:==

    The AP reported: “It was unclear if there’d be an impact on early voting elsewhere in Illinois. At least one of the pending candidate questions involves a statewide office.

    “Illinois State Board of Elections spokesman Matt Dietrich says decisions on early voting are up to each election authority.”

  13. - Demoralized - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 2:11 pm:

    ==privilege to vote==

    And here I always thought voting was a sacred right.

  14. - Urban Girl - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 3:50 pm:

    BIG R.Ph, it is also costly for individuals who are paid hourly give up paid time to go vote. It is costly for parents who need to pay for extra child care to stand in long lines on a single election day. If you are not able-bodied, you may weigh the cost of venturing out on a snowy and icy day that can regularly coincide with election day in Illinois

  15. - thechampaignlife - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 4:02 pm:

    As someone who has run for a local office before, I wish ballot access was easier. It would be nice if the 2 highest signature-getters were guaranteed to be on the ballot. That would bring in at least a bit more competition.

  16. - blue dog dem - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 4:29 pm:

    Every US citizen should have the right to vote. Voting should be made easier. Voting should require proof of citizenship.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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