The absentee ballot thing in SoCos rears its ugly head again
SALINE CO.—Over the years we’ve been covering Saline and surrounding counties, there’s been a constant and ongoing issue over the use—or abuse—of absentee/early voting ballots in elections.
The big coverage we gave it was the Consolidated General Election in 2011, wherein we did an in-depth expose` on how Eldorado had for years relied on absentee ballots to get “the right” candidates in office. But we’d heard that there was an identical issue county-wide. Foremost amongst the complaints was the way elections were being handled. Nowhere was this more evident than in the General Election in November 2010. There, one of our correspondents watched as none other than Harrisburg attorney/former mayor Robert “ChickenBob” Wilson walked right into the ballot counting room of the courthouse, stood there and watched the counting, came out, then went back in and shut the door behind him.
Our multiple sources observing this said that eventually, a court security guard asked Wilson to stay outside of the area where the counting was going on.
Now, we have an issue that’s arisen this morning with absentees again:
Screencap from about a half hour ago (8:30 a.m., 10.03.12), Curt Hustedde’s Facebook page
Now, here’s what our sources tell us: Such a thing as a candidate viewing voting results (as Hustedde, who’s running for coroner on the Democrat ticket, is) is highly illegal.
“Could be considered vote tampering if someone other than authorized commissioners and the clerk had access,” our source reports; “could mean the potential to switch out votes, etc.”
Now, that’s been the concern all along in ‘rado (and remains unaddressed at the time being, as things just go along there as they always have; change can’t be effected by an outside source in such a thing, the local voters are the only ones who can complain about irregularities in their local elections, and to the Illinois State Board of Elections, who then may or may not get off their asses and do something about it), the concern being: why are candidates being allowed to view/handle early voting or absentee ballots? It’s hard to imagine that Hustedde isn’t aware that he shouldn’t be doing this…let alone shouldn’t be broadcasting about it. But here we go. Hustedde, while a nice enough guy (who doesn’t return our phone calls, but hey…he’s busy) can’t be the brightest candidate on the ballot anyway…he’s a ChickenBob pick, after all.
We’ve put in a call to the county clerk to see just how irregular Hustedde having access to the early ballots really is; if that’s something that’s “done,” we’ll run it past the ISBE. Look for the outcome in the upcoming election edition, a special edition that’s on stands beginning this coming Monday…get your renews in if you haven’t already, because those who subscribe
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Posted by Jack Howser
on Oct 3 2012. Filed under Breaking
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