The U.S. Justice Department is investigating whether the state of Illinois missed the deadline for mailing absentee ballots to members of the military and other overseas American voters as part of a new federal overseas voting law.
Cris Cray, Director of Legislation at the Illinois State Board of Elections, says not all of Illinois' 110 jurisdictions were compliant with the 2009 Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act (MOVE).
The law requires every state to mail their absentee ballots 45 days prior to Election Day to overseas troops, government employees and other Americans who want to vote from abroad.
Cray says she is currently compiling data from each of Illinois' jurisdictions to determine which were compliant and which were delinquent. Cray said it's possible the ballots may not be counted because the state was tardy in sending them out.
Illinois was required to have all of its absentee ballots mailed by Sept. 18, the national deadline. Election officials have until Nov. 15 to count the absentee ballots, which must be postmarked by midnight Nov. 1 to be eligible.
A cynical person would think this was the Chicago Way delivering the Obama/Blago/Burris Senate seat.
"I am deeply troubled that the spokesperson for the State Board of Elections said that military ballots in Illinois may not be counted in this election. Our men and women in uniform are putting their lives on the line everyday to defend our democratic freedoms. What a disgrace it would be if our state denied them theirs. I will do everything in my power to defend the rights of our men and women in uniform. I urge my opponent, Alexi Giannoulias, to stand with me in support of our men and women in uniform."So Alexi, who's only ever put on a basketball uniform, how bout you and Michelle, who cares so deeply about military families, make a statement tonight, if you two can tear yourselves away from your fundraiser.
WLS story up on Memeorandum.
More. Brady statement:
Chicago – Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady tonight released the following statement regarding news of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice into the delay of absentee ballots to overseas members of the United States Military:More. Bloomington Pantagraph:
“I am deeply concerned about today’s disturbing report that Illinois may have failed to mail absentee ballots to our military members serving overseas in a timely manner, and in accordance with the law,” Brady said. “The U.S. Department of Justice is right to conduct a full and immediate investigation.
“The Federal Government and the state of Illinois have the responsibility to take any and all action to ensure the right of those who defend our freedom overseas to cast their votes in this important election. Failure to act on this disturbing report threatens the integrity of this election, and our democratic process.”
At least one county, with a large portion of military ballots, acknowledges missing the deadline.What a guy. From the other vote fraud capital of Illinois. Also the other famous judicial hellhole.
St. Clair County Clerk Bob Delaney said 1,297 overseas military ballots — many of them connected with Scott Air Force Base — didn’t get sent out until Oct. 4, primarily because he was waiting for a decision on whether the Constitution Party would be allowed on the ballot.
Under the 2009 Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) act, ballots are supposed to be sent 45 days before the election in order to give troops time to fill them out and return them for counting.
Delaney said it wouldn’t have made financial sense to send out two versions of the ballot if the Constitution Party had won its case.
“This is not just like sending out your grocery list,” Delaney said. “I really don’t care what the Department of Justice thinks.”
More. Sun Times:
The First Lady is pushing for early voting--how bout pushing for every military vote to count.
As of 4 p.m., 65 of the state’s 102 counties had responded and all but 12 had gotten the ballots out by the deadline, said Rupert Borgsmiller, spokesman for the State Board of Elections.
Overseas voters still have until Nov. 1 to get their ballots postmarked or certified and they can still be counted as late as Nov. 16, two weeks after election day and just a week or so before Illinois’ new U.S. Senator is expected to be sworn in.
“We mailed out 7,200 ballots before Labor Day,” said Chicago Board of Elections Commissioners spokesman Jim Allen. “We were determined to make that deadline and beat it.”
But as of Wednesday afternoon, the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners and the Cook County Clerk’s office had not submitted their numbers to the state.