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Another day, another lawsuit

Thursday, May 26, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Here you go

Plaintiffs Congressman Michael J. Bost, Laura Pollastrini, and Susan Sweeney (“Plaintiffs”), by and through counsel, file this Complaint against the Illinois State Board of Elections and its Executive Director Bernadette Matthews, and allege as follows:

1. Plaintiffs are former and prospective federal candidates and registered Illinois voters, all of whom seek declaratory and injunctive relief to enjoin parts of the Illinois election code.

2. The United States Congress is authorized under Art. I, § 4 cl. 1 and Art. II, § 1 cl. 4 to establish the Time for conducting federal elections. Congress exercised this authority in 1845 when it enacted the first of a trio of statutes that established a uniform national election day for all federal elections.

3. Under federal law, the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of every even-numbered year is election day (“Election Day”) for federal elections. See 2 U.S.C. § 1; 2 U.S.C. § 7; and 3 U.S.C. § 1.

4. Despite Congress’ clear statement regarding a single national Election Day, Illinois has expanded Election Day by extending by 14 days the date for receipt and counting of vote-by- mail ballots. See 10 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. §§ 5/18A-15(a) & 5/19-8(c).

5. Plaintiffs allege that Illinois’ extension of Election Day violates federal law and their rights.

6. Plaintiffs seek a judgment declaring Illinois’ extension of Election Day to be unlawful and seek an injunction enjoining the extension. […]

20. In its December 4, 2020, press release announcing certified results from the November 3, 2020 election, the State Board announced that there had been a total of 6,098,729 votes in the 2020 election, of which 2,025,662 were vote-by-mail ballots.

21. Read together, the November 2nd and December 4th press releases indicate that Illinois received 266,417 vote-by-mail ballots statewide during the period from November 3rd through November 17th.

22. Upon information and belief, most of the 266,417 vote-by-mail ballots were received after Election Day, which would mean that as many as 4.4% of votes cast in 2020 were received after Election Day.

23. Illinois is not allowed to hold open voting for congressional and presidential beyond the single Election Day. […]

25. The next federal election in Illinois will be held on Tuesday, November 8, 2022, at which time Illinois will elect a new Congressional delegation. Under Illinois law’s extended ballot receipt deadline, vote-by-mail ballots shall be counted if received on or before November 22, 2022.

26. Accordingly, Illinois will illegally hold voting open beyond Election Day on November 8, 2022.

For example, if you’re serving your country overseas and the notoriously slow APO doesn’t deliver your ballot by election day, Congressman Bost doesn’t want your votes counted.

       

26 Comments
  1. - Are Ya Kidding Me? - Thursday, May 26, 22 @ 4:17 pm:

    Just another example of how the Repubs only support our Military and Law Enforcement when it helps them.
    Disregarding Military ballots is so I american, shame on you Rodney!


  2. - Streator Curmudgeon - Thursday, May 26, 22 @ 4:22 pm:

    I’m guessing there must be plenty of precedents from other states doing exactly the same thing Illinois does.

    As Rich points out, Illinois cannot control APOS and the sometimes slow USPS.


  3. - NotRich - Thursday, May 26, 22 @ 4:23 pm:

    Bost… once a fool always a fool


  4. - Mike K - Thursday, May 26, 22 @ 4:31 pm:

    Rich is exactly right. We amended the for late arriving vote-by-mail ballots, because before that, a voter could request a mailed ballot by the final Thursday, it gets mailed by the Clerk on Thursday, the voter receives it days later, votes it, mails it back (maybe from Florida or Afghanistan, and upwards of a thousand lawful votes ere being pitched out due to late arrival. And yes, the Florida 2000 military ballots were a part of a lesson learned.


  5. - twowaystreet - Thursday, May 26, 22 @ 4:32 pm:

    Um that a bizarre way to interpret leaving voting open, especially since ballots must be postmarked by Election Day…


  6. - Big Dipper - Thursday, May 26, 22 @ 4:32 pm:

    When attorneys put “Esq.” after their own names you always know they’ll be — um — eccentric.


  7. - Mike K - Thursday, May 26, 22 @ 4:32 pm:

    Ugh, sloppy editing: Rich is exactly right. We amended the law to allow for late arriving vote-by-mail ballots, because before that, a voter could request a mailed ballot by the final Thursday, it gets mailed by the Clerk on Thursday, the voter receives it days later, votes it, mails it back (maybe from Florida or Afghanistan, and upwards of a thousand lawful votes were being pitched out due to late arrival. And yes, the Florida 2000 military ballots were a part of a lesson learned.


  8. - PublicServant - Thursday, May 26, 22 @ 4:33 pm:

    Denied. Next set of goofball lawsuits.


  9. - walker - Thursday, May 26, 22 @ 4:34 pm:

    We’ve been counting mail-in ballots from troops received after Election Day since the Civil War. Amazing ignorance of American history among some current GOPers.


  10. - CubsFan16 - Thursday, May 26, 22 @ 4:41 pm:

    France’s election results were known immediately after polls closed. Crazy standard to want for our state and country? I don’t think so. Keep the flexibility for our military service men and women, but in general we should move towards a shorter period of voting, not longer periods of voting.


  11. - VerySmallRocks - Thursday, May 26, 22 @ 4:41 pm:

    Voter suppression by any other nme…


  12. - Honeybear - Thursday, May 26, 22 @ 4:43 pm:

    How about Bost spends his time fixing the postal system that Trump and his postmaster general broke so that a higher percentage of ballots get there on time.
    Totally disingenuous.


  13. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, May 26, 22 @ 4:53 pm:

    -When attorneys put “Esq.” after their own names you always know they’ll be — um — eccentric.-

    I was thinking of a compound word ending in -hole.


  14. - TheInvisibleMan - Thursday, May 26, 22 @ 4:53 pm:

    Okay, but no more recounts either then.

    The day ballots are cast, is not the same as the day the ballots are counted and certified.

    I’m not going to pretend that this is just someone being a bit goofy or clueless. It’s purposeful and deliberate.

    The purpose of this is to have ‘an active court case’ when spouting off other election lies - to use the authority of the court system to give the appearance of integrity on other claims being made.

    “We currently have a pending case in the courts right now to address known cases of illegal voting.”

    By the time the courts eventually dismiss it, it won’t matter. It will have already long since served its purpose.


  15. - 47th Ward - Thursday, May 26, 22 @ 4:54 pm:

    There are a lot of differences between our system and the French voting system. Be careful of what you wish for.


  16. - twowaystreet - Thursday, May 26, 22 @ 5:01 pm:

    ==France’s election results were known immediately after polls closed.==

    Still don’t understand what issue that fixes for American elections. The lawsuit is a solution without a problem.

    “Go away or I shall taunt you for a second time”


  17. - TheInvisibleMan - Thursday, May 26, 22 @ 5:02 pm:

    Regarding French elections

    I’d be eager to see the reaction of the GOP to allowing ‘voting by proxy’ like France.

    France doesn’t do mail in ballots, because you can literally send your neighbor to go vote for you on election day if you can’t make it.

    “Excuse me sir, I have 2 ballots to cast today.”


  18. - Pundent - Thursday, May 26, 22 @ 5:07 pm:

    =France’s election results were known immediately after polls closed.=

    They also vote on the weekend and routinely get turnout north of 80%.


  19. - Juice - Thursday, May 26, 22 @ 5:44 pm:

    The French election also wasn’t particularly close.

    If we elected the president based on the national popular vote, we would’ve known the ultimate outcome on election night too.


  20. - Candy Dogood - Thursday, May 26, 22 @ 5:46 pm:

    Always great to see a person who serves in the United States House of Representatives arguing against counting all of the legally cast ballots in an election.

    Especially great to see this guy who can’t go five minutes without mentioning his brief stint in the Marine Corps taking action that seeks to throw out the ballots of many of the people that serve our country overseas.

    It is easy to assume that Bost is a hapless fool or a simpleton, but remember that he is a Republican member of congress running from a safe district that is trying to create a constitutional challenge that would allow deliberate and intentional Republican interference with the mail to make it so ballots aren’t counted, like we saw in 2020 with a Trump appointee trying everything he could to prevent and delay ballots from making it through the United States Postal Service successfully.

    This is part of a plot. You can decide if Bost is willfully complicit or just stupidly complicit, but don’t dismiss this simply because it has the name of a ranting and raving dog murdering and openly bigoted member of congress on it.

    This is part of a serious threat to our democracy. Don’t get distracted by it arriving in court wrapped in stupid.


  21. - JS Mill - Thursday, May 26, 22 @ 5:48 pm:

    ==France’s election results were known immediately after polls closed.==

    So what?

    France is smaller than Texas and you can v


  22. - FormerParatrooper - Thursday, May 26, 22 @ 6:24 pm:

    I mailed letters home from overseas that I beat home by weeks. I always wondered if my ballots ever made it back as I received a ballot on a deployment on election day to return.

    Why would Bost, a Republican, pursue such an idea knowing that military voters often vote Republican?

    Just another example while many who used to identify as a Republican are partyless.


  23. - Lincoln Lad - Thursday, May 26, 22 @ 7:12 pm:

    I just threw a stack of papers up into the air because I’m so angry. Want to make sure the cameras caught it… can you confirm?


  24. - Juice - Thursday, May 26, 22 @ 7:28 pm:

    Lincoln Lad- Congratulations. You now have the qualifications to become an entrenched member of Congress.


  25. - hisgirlfriday - Thursday, May 26, 22 @ 10:22 pm:

    Hooboy.

    Glad I clicked on the Complaint, which is literally comical, as in it includes a comic strip to argue that election day should just be one day.

    It is also figuratively comical in completely disregarding that the Constitution explicitly delegates to states the ability to regulate the times, places, and manner of federal elections.

    And when I got to the end I was thinking the attorney’s name sounded familiar and what do I find when I google?

    That Christine Svenson, Esq. was the attorney who Dan Rutherford accused of being a Rauner agent for the lawsuit that derailed his political career (and a side note, I am surprised looking back on things that Kyle Ham being a co-defendant in that Rutherford lawsuit does not seem to have come up as an issue in the contested GOP state rep. primary he is currently in).

    What a world.


  26. - Titan - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 9:00 am:

    I believe that the 14 day period is required by federal law if VBM ballots can’t be sent before a certain date prior to the election. The robust petition objection process (and judicial review) in illinios makes us unable to meet the mailing criteria so as to necessitate the 14 day window option.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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