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Oberweis wants expanded mail-in ballot program

Wednesday, Jun 3, 2020

* He has a valid point here. From a press release that was misidentified as a news story in another publication

The Democrat majority pushed through mail-in ballot legislation under the guise of protecting citizens from a possible resurgence of COVID-19, but State Senator Jim Oberweis (R-Sugar Grove) and candidate for Congress in the 14th District, says the bill was nothing more than another example of partisan politics.

The legislation approved would require mail-in ballot applications to be sent to anyone who voted in the 2018, 2019 elections and in the 2020 Primary Election. Voters in the 2016 election were left out of the bill even though turnout in 2016 was much greater than the 2018 election. The total votes cast in the 2016 General Election was 5,536,424. The total votes cast in the 2018 General Election was 4,547,657 – a difference of nearly 1 million voters.

“The Democrat majority is intentionally limiting who gets the applications because they believe that by doing so, they can ensure Democrat victories,” Oberweis said. “The 2018 election had a high turnout of Democrat voters, which is clearly why they are not including the 2016 election in their mail-in ballot application program. This legislation is about protecting their majority and not at all about trying to help citizens during this health crisis.”

Oberweis said Republicans by contrast want to provide ballot applications to all voters by including the mail-in ballot applications in the required mailing of the wording of the Constitutional Amendment that has to be mailed to voters ahead of the Nov. 3rd election.

“The law requires the state to send out a mailing regarding Constitutional Amendments on the ballot and so it just makes sense to include the applications in these mailings,” Oberweis said. “This would be the most economical and responsible way to handle the mail-in ballot applications, saving taxpayers millions of dollars. The Democrat majority was not interested in this approach because the goal here is not to be responsive to the needs of the electorate, but rather to make sure they keep their majority in the House and the Senate. Democrats accuse Republicans of trying to suppress voter turnout but clearly Republicans are trying to increase voter turnout by making ballot applications available to all registered voters. Republicans are also concerned about voter fraud because voter fraud lessens the value of every legitimate vote.”

Oberweis said he has and will continue to encourage voters to vote by mail.

“Voting by mail is a safe and convenient way to vote,” Oberweis said. “Republicans especially tend to vote in person but there are times when things happen preventing folks from voting on Election Day. If just 3 or 4% of Republicans intending to vote don’t vote, that can easily change the result of many elections. Voting by mail is a viable option and one all voters should consider. We can’t let Democrats continue to beat us by getting their voters to vote by mail.”

Discuss.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

32 Comments
  1. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Jun 3, 20 @ 10:56 am:

    Not a bad idea. I am a bit suprised that a Republican is pushing voting by mail. That makes him an outlier in his own party.


  2. - benniefly2 - Wednesday, Jun 3, 20 @ 11:00 am:

    I would prefer that they send them out to all registered voters, whether they voted in previous four years or not, but any expansion of vote by mail opportunities is fine with me.


  3. - southsider - Wednesday, Jun 3, 20 @ 11:01 am:

    First, every household in Illinois will get notice about the ability to request an application. The bill also mandated the constitutional amendment brochure include this information, and that goes to every household, not just registered voters.

    Also, anyone can download an application or apply for a vote by mail ballot. It’s not just those who voted in 18, 19 or 20. I presume the reason they did not include 2016 relates to cost and because most election authorities conduct purges after presidential elections. Going back to who voted in 2016 would have cost a lot more with less results.


  4. - Glengarry - Wednesday, Jun 3, 20 @ 11:05 am:

    I almost fell out of my chair when I read the headline.


  5. - Blue to the Bone - Wednesday, Jun 3, 20 @ 11:05 am:

    Oberweis is my state senator and if he wasn’t running for the IL14 against Underwood, I wonder if he’d truly support Vote-By-Mail especially since Trump and the rest of the GOP are fighting so hard against it. He’s certainly going to struggle so making this issue a conspiracy by the Madigan Dems seems to be his strategy to try and get swing voters on his side. Too bad it won’t work.


  6. - Norseman - Wednesday, Jun 3, 20 @ 11:05 am:

    Obie better be careful. Pushing voting may get him thrown out of the Young Guns Program.


  7. - efudd - Wednesday, Jun 3, 20 @ 11:05 am:

    Great, now I agree with Oberweis.

    Our county clerk, a republican who wasn’t keen on expanding vote by mail, won’t be hot on the idea. He’s currently working with three staff, including himself.


  8. - phenom_Anon - Wednesday, Jun 3, 20 @ 11:07 am:

    =I presume the reason they did not include 2016 relates to cost and because most election authorities conduct purges after presidential elections. Going back to who voted in 2016 would have cost a lot more with less results. =

    Yes, I’m sure the fact that they left out a year of high Republican turnout is a complete coincidence. No partisan intent here…


  9. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 3, 20 @ 11:08 am:

    ===The Democrat majority===

    Listed four times, always a divider, always trying to signal.

    Oberweis just can not “Oberweis”

    The partisan slant to an idea is why Oberweis stains his own work here. Truly embarrassing.

    Oberweis, as a person in the political arena in his buffoon ways, is never about being someone willing to represent citizens, just “Republicans”

    (Sigh)

    To the rest?

    Let’s look at this;

    ===Oberweis said Republicans by contrast want to provide ballot applications to all voters by including the mail-in ballot applications in the required mailing of the wording of the Constitutional Amendment that has to be mailed to voters ahead of the Nov. 3rd election.===

    A very solid idea. You’d think Oberweis would want a bipartisan message here, with a Democrat also seeing this as a positive step.

    Nope.

    Try this?

    “The November election is going to be critical for our state and limiting who might or might not get ballots by having a measure of who voted last essentially limits others who might have felt disenfranchised and choose not to participate at other times. If we as a state want more voters, and we want to use vote by mail to do it, then expanding this program to reach more voters seems smarter than have a program seemingly still designed to keep those feeling disenfranchised shut out from the voting process”

    But Oberweis is not, nor has he ever, been a statesman.

    Great idea, horrible messing by the messenger.


  10. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jun 3, 20 @ 11:14 am:

    ===is a complete coincidence===

    Coinkydink.


  11. - Bob Loblaw - Wednesday, Jun 3, 20 @ 11:18 am:

    I’m sure they picked 2018 for exactly that purpose and good for them. Tired of Republicans being the only party allowed to do politics


  12. - Hamlet's Ghost - Wednesday, Jun 3, 20 @ 11:23 am:

    Did any Republican propose this during the recent legislative session?


  13. - Joe Bidenopolous - Wednesday, Jun 3, 20 @ 11:24 am:

    ===they left out a year of high Republican turnout===

    You’re referring to the year DJT got an overwhelming 39% in IL?


  14. - Hamlet's Ghost - Wednesday, Jun 3, 20 @ 11:25 am:

    Second question - Is legislative approval needed to do this or could the VBM ballot application be included as an administrative decision?


  15. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jun 3, 20 @ 11:25 am:

    Joe, facts are facts. The Dems used high Democratic turnout elections. Those mailers are gonna miss a lot of Republicans.


  16. - The Real Captain - Wednesday, Jun 3, 20 @ 11:29 am:

    Would he support sending an application to all registered voters in the state? The GA could add this to the budget of the State Board of Elections and take the cost off the backs of the clerks.


  17. - Hamlet's Ghost - Wednesday, Jun 3, 20 @ 11:29 am:

    If Jim Oberweis had said this on the Senate floor, during legislative deliberation, maybe he could have gotten it done.


  18. - Cheryl44 - Wednesday, Jun 3, 20 @ 11:31 am:

    Even Wikipedia knows what a dog whistle the term ‘Democrat Party’ is.


  19. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Jun 3, 20 @ 11:35 am:

    https://www.npr.org/2020/05/15/856189149/it-s-partly-on-me-gop-official-says-fraud-warnings-hamper-vote-by-mail-push

    The party line is going to murder the GOP. Also, re: Oberweis, these are 360 from the arguments the GOP was making against the VBM bill on the floor.


  20. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jun 3, 20 @ 11:41 am:

    For the record, I did suggest this in the committee hearing on the bill. The committee hearing was held on the senate floor.


  21. - Jim Oberweis - Wednesday, Jun 3, 20 @ 11:43 am:

    I requested it in the committee hearing. Did not mean to show as “anonymous”


  22. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 3, 20 @ 11:46 am:

    === I requested it in the committee hearing.===

    The Democrat majority… amirite?

    Sometimes being seen as a partner in governing is better than a partisan looking to divide in language hurting governing.

    I still like your ice cream.


  23. - Hamlet's Ghost - Wednesday, Jun 3, 20 @ 11:48 am:

    @Jim Oberweis

    Kudos for the idea. Do any of your fellow Republicans support you on this?

    Perhaps the Kane, Will and DuPage County Boards can vote to fund this idea, at least in your neck of the woods.


  24. - Donnie Elgin - Wednesday, Jun 3, 20 @ 12:14 pm:

    “Oberweis, as a person in the political arena in his buffoon ways, is never about being someone willing to represent citizens, just “Republicans”

    Including the 2016 voters (a high turnout election) seems like a good and fair idea. But on this forum, since Oberwiess is suggesting it, the merits of the proposal are overshadowed by folks condemning the messenger.


  25. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 3, 20 @ 12:18 pm:

    Oh - Donnie Elgin -

    No one is a victim here, not even Oberweis;

    ===A very solid idea.===

    ===Great idea, horrible messing by the messenger.===

    Keep up.


  26. - Mike - Wednesday, Jun 3, 20 @ 12:32 pm:

    My opinion: The Dems used the most recent elections to increase mailing address accuracy and the likelihood the recipient will use the application. Heck, the partisan take would be to not do ANY state-paid mailings, and let DPI outwork the Repubs with partisan recruitment of Vote-By-Mail voters.


  27. - Huh? - Wednesday, Jun 3, 20 @ 1:02 pm:

    Who is the Oberweis(R) making such a suggestion? Everyone knows that the (R) are claiming VBM is tantamont to fraud.


  28. - Huh? - Wednesday, Jun 3, 20 @ 1:46 pm:

    Who rolled over in their grave when oberweis made this comment?


  29. - Ducky LaMoore - Wednesday, Jun 3, 20 @ 1:47 pm:

    He’s not wrong, but he is such an incredible @$$ about having a good idea that it makes me not want to support it.


  30. - Socially DIstant Watcher - Wednesday, Jun 3, 20 @ 1:55 pm:

    The blue books go out later in the process. You can apply for a mail ballot application this year on August 5 (a Wednesday, if you’re counting). The blue book may not go out until September. So keep them separate to give everyone enough time to do them propertly.


  31. - thunderspirit - Wednesday, Jun 3, 20 @ 2:55 pm:

    I cannot remember ever saying this before, but:
    I agree with State Senator Oberweis.


  32. - Nearly Normal - Wednesday, Jun 3, 20 @ 7:03 pm:

    I am an election Judge. I say the more the merrier in regards to applications. The McLean County Clerk was asked about the bill as presented and said it would require more staff to handle applications. Adding 2016 will no doubt cost more but if it is the law so be it. People can go online and request a ballot or contact the County Clerk and ask for an application. Also, parties send out applications, too.


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