Glitch in Illinois' new vote-by-mail system
by Chuck Goudie
October 27, 2010 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- The election is another day closer and there are more problems with Illinois' new vote-by-mail system.
Depending on who you talk to, the issue either has the potential to become Illinois' version of the ballot fiasco they had in Florida in 2000 or it is no big deal and being overblown to scare voters.
By any measure there is a problem that started after Illinois passed a new, vote-by-mail law.
"What a mess. It's almost like the Three Stooges were planning this get-out-the-vote absentee registration drive. It's a scrambled up disaster. Hopefully we will get it unscrambled a little bit," said Cindi Canary, Illinois Campaign For Political Reform.
The scramble started in the Illinois General Assembly late last year when a vote-by-mail law passed for the first time.
Then this summer, in another piece of election legislation, lawmakers approved allowing anyone to send out applications for vote-by-mail ballots. And more than 900,000 of the applications were sent to voters by the state Democratic Party.
The real gist of the story is that the Democrats included their mailing address on the request for ballots rather than the Clerk of Elections. This way they could "process" the personal data and then submit the requests for ballots to the Clerks. Now the requests are coming to them and not to the Clerks of Elections and there may not be time to turn them around, process them at the Clerks, and then mail the ballots to the voters.
This one will bear watching.