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Watch the VBM numbers

Monday, Nov 5, 2018

* The Democrats are focusing intently on their vote by mail program. These numbers are from last Thursday, so they’re way outdated, but here’s Greg Hinz

As of [November 1], Orr’s office had received 110,868 applications for mail ballots, with 54,304 already returned. Only 51,237 voted by mail in all of 2014, and Orr’s office says the final mail total this year is likely to exceed the final 2016 figure of 87,987.

According to Board of Elections spokesman Jim Allen, 118,544 persons had cast early ballots as of yesterday, compared to 73,127 at this point in 2014, and 191,808 with six days to go in 2016. But mail voting is soaring even compared to 2016, with 116,124 applications for mail ballots so far, compared to final figures of 40,869 in 2014 and 102,896 in 2016. So far, 48,174 of those ballots of been returned.

According to [Chicago] Board of Elections spokesman Jim Allen, 118,544 persons had cast early ballots as of yesterday, compared to 73,127 at this point in 2014, and 191,808 with six days to go in 2016. But mail voting is soaring even compared to 2016, with 116,124 applications for mail ballots so far, compared to final figures of 40,869 in 2014 and 102,896 in 2016. So far, 48,174 of those ballots of been returned. […]

As for [DuPage County] mail ballots, 19,922 have been returned so far. There were only about 7,000 four years ago, and 25,000 in 2016.

* From the DuPage Democrats…

There are reports that many more than usual mail in ballots are being rejected this year. To see if your mail in vote may have been rejected use the following link to look up the status of your vote: www.dupageco.org/VoterLookup If your vote has been rejected, call the election commission to see why and what you can do about it. (630) 407-5600

* From the 10th District Democrats…

Lake County Clerk Carla Wyckoff’s office is rejecting Vote-By-Mail ballots from voters across Lake County but the office is refusing to confirm how many voters are affected or release the names of which voters’ ballots were thrown out. As a result, many voters may not find out until after Election Day that they were disenfranchised and their votes were not counted. Wyckoff, a Republican, is up for re-election on Tuesday.

“Voters across Lake County may think they’ve already voted but the County Clerk’s office won’t say whether or not their vote has been cast. That’s unacceptable,” said Lauren Beth Gash. “The County Clerk’s refusal to be transparent is an affront to democracy and we urge them to reverse course immediately.”

County clerks are required to notify voters by letter in the mail letting them know they need to take action by filling out an affidavit to affirm that ballot was properly cast or directing them to vote in person on Election Day. However, many voters may not receive that letter until after Election Day has passed, especially if election judges reject their ballot within a few days of Election Day.

In other counties around Chicagoland, the County Clerk’s offices have been transparent when they reject ballots, regularly responding to requests to determine how many ballots are being rejected and the identity of the voters who have been affected. This allows voting rights advocates to follow up with voters to let them know they need to return an affidavit, come to the Election Commission in person, or show up at the polls in order to make their ballot count. To make matters worse, unlike other neighboring counties, Lake County does not operate a website allowing voters to verify online if their votes have been cast.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

18 Comments »
  1. - AnonNice - Monday, Nov 5, 18 @ 11:28 am:

    Whether it’s incompetence or malice, Republicans in Lake County are really going off the deep end. The clerk should be ashamed.


  2. - MickJ - Monday, Nov 5, 18 @ 11:31 am:

    That link to see if a ballot has been rejected is a great service.

    Serving as a poll watcher supervisor, I see many ballots rejected for a variety of reasons, many that make little sense. For that reason, I encourage folks to early vote if possible rather than vote by mail.


  3. - Wensicia - Monday, Nov 5, 18 @ 11:35 am:

    Lake County does have a link to check the status of your vote, mail-in or otherwise.

    LakeVoterPower.info

    I just checked mine and it stated:

    “Your Vote by Mail Ballot was issued on 10/5/2018
    and returned on 10/26/2018 with a status of Good.”


  4. - Moe Berg - Monday, Nov 5, 18 @ 11:37 am:

    As demographics go against them and their policy views fall further from the mainstream of American society, voter disenfranchisement is what Republicans have left to try and maintain a grip on power. We’ve seen it most especially in Georgia, but also Wisconsin, and, not surprisingly, it may be at play in DuPage and Lake counties.

    It’s an insult to all the patriotic Americans who died to secure and protect our right to choose the elected officials who will govern us.

    It’s also a good subject for investigation by the Illinois General Assembly come next January.


  5. - anon - Monday, Nov 5, 18 @ 11:38 am:

    Carla Wyckoff is using the Kemp Playbook from Georgia…the least she could do is give him credit.


  6. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Monday, Nov 5, 18 @ 11:42 am:

    When I was an election judge, a voter tried to vote after ordering a vote by mail ballot but never sending it in. It was a pretty big rigmarole getting a provisional ballot for her, and a bit of a fight with the Republicans judge who basically wanted to disenfranchise her. So, I’m a little skeptical of the vote by mail thing.


  7. - Lakecountyvoter - Monday, Nov 5, 18 @ 11:59 am:

    Interesting that this apparent suppression by the Lake County Clerk comes right when she’s in a somewhat competitive race. You’d think that would be the best time to do your job without a hint of bias.


  8. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Monday, Nov 5, 18 @ 12:02 pm:

    == shouldn’t be a big deal. ==

    The world is full of thing that shouldn’t be a big deal, but in reality are difficult. There seems to be some risk with VBM. I would not want to leave my vote to the chance that a random election judge will follow the rules.


  9. - Langhorne - Monday, Nov 5, 18 @ 12:07 pm:

    I voted by mail a month ago, in sangamon county. I got this emailed response, “Your Vote by Mail ballot has been received and accepted. Thank you for voting!”

    As numbers soar, i wonder how counties budgeted the expense.


  10. - yinn - Monday, Nov 5, 18 @ 12:18 pm:

    ==When I was an election judge, a voter tried to vote after ordering a vote by mail ballot but never sending it in.==

    People’s minds or circumstances change, or Election Day rolls around and they think they’ve missed the mail-in deadline. Regardless of the reason, a voter can surrender the mail-in ballot at her/his polling place and cast a regular ballot instead. There’s a bit of extra red tape involved, but it isn’t and shouldn’t be a big deal.


  11. - Roman - Monday, Nov 5, 18 @ 12:22 pm:

    With so many competitive GA races this year, there’s bound to be a handful decided by a couple hundred votes. There’s gonna be a lot of wrangling over a lot of VBM ballots in those districts.


  12. - Biff - Monday, Nov 5, 18 @ 12:25 pm:

    It’s absurd to have so many different standards and to make people jump through hoops. Lake County has no database with names of voters who can be notified about the need to do more (like show up early, on Election Day, or afterwards). The clerk is on an island in making it harder to get out the vote. I guess when you’re paid off by Dick Uihlein money, you do things like that.


  13. - Just Observing - Monday, Nov 5, 18 @ 12:26 pm:

    Following-up on Wensicia’s comment, I too just checked my Lake County vote-by-mail status and it indicated: “Your Vote by Mail Ballot was issued on 9/27/2018 and returned on 10/26/2018 with a status of Good.”


  14. - A guy - Monday, Nov 5, 18 @ 12:29 pm:

    ==It’s also a good subject for investigation by the Illinois General Assembly come next January.==

    If what you’re saying and alleging is true, Erika will look into it. /s


  15. - Joe Bidenopolous - Monday, Nov 5, 18 @ 12:52 pm:

    Moe Berg gets it, but let’s call it what it is. When Republicans can’t win with their policy ideas and everyone voting, they cheat, plain and simple. Democrats, for their part, have definitely tried to suppress Republican turnout, but I’ve never known them to actually suppress voters’ rights. When it comes right down to it, if everyone eligible voted, Republicans lose. And they know it.


  16. - Anonymous - Monday, Nov 5, 18 @ 1:22 pm:

    Willard may be gone, but her spirit abides. Lake’s been tough that way for decades. It’s going to take a concerted effort to improve things there.


  17. - Lakecountyvoter - Monday, Nov 5, 18 @ 2:04 pm:

    ==Erika will look into it===
    Thankfully the national republicans have shown their state counterparts how to stand up to members of their own party and investigate them for misconduct…oh wait


  18. - cc - Monday, Nov 5, 18 @ 8:05 pm:

    I voted by mail and received nothing back to indicate that it was good. So fingers crossed.


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