Green Party Fields Numerous Reports Of Voting Irregularities In Chicago, Elsewhere
Voters who hoped to participate in the Illinois' first ever statewide Green Party primary are receiving a very rude reception at many polling places, especially in Chicago.
In the early hours of voting, Green Party officials began receiving reports from frustrated voters across the state who, in many cases, had been told by pollworkers that there are no Green Party ballots available at their polling places, or that they had to vote on suspect electronic voting machines, even while other parties use paper ballots.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE,
FEBRUARY 5, 2008
Some of the most outrageous incidents, however, occurred across the wards of Chicago, where Green Party ballots have been apparently tampered with so they can't be read and accepted by voting machines, voters are given Democratic ballots despite requesting Green ballots.
What follows are a few examples of reports. Check ilgp.org for more reports as they are received. More information will also be available at the Green Party gathering tonight at Decima Musa Restaurant, 1901 S. Loomis, Chicago (in Pilsen).
1st WARD, 26th PRECINCT
A voter reports that all of the Green Party ballots had been folded in half, causing them to not feed through the machine properly. The Republican and Democratic ballots were not folded. Because his first ballot kept getting rejected by the machine, the voter was asked by pollworkers to fill out another Green Party ballot, which also had been previously folded. That ballot was not able to be read and was rejected as well.
25th WARD, 8th PRECINCT
Pollworkers didn't have any green ballots available and were asking voters if they wanted a Democratic or Republican ballot (but not Green ballots).
25th WARD, 24th PRECINCT
A voter asked for a Green Party ballot three times, and was given a Democratic paper ballot each time. Finally, on the fourth time, the voter was told only touch screen available for Greens.
Mary Ann Esler, Green Party Committeewoman in the 31st Ward, went in to vote in the Green Primary this morning. The election judges refused to give her a Green Party ballot. The Democratic Precinct Captain, who was supervising the judges told them that there were no ballots for the Green Primary because the Green candidates were running unopposed.
The confrontation ended when Mary found the ballots hidden under some papers on the judge's table. The judges then went into a big huddle with the Democratic Precinct Captain while Mary marked her ballot.
Jeremy Karpen, live blogging from the 35th Ward polling place, gives the following reports:
9:00am: After reporting an election judge for not orally offering Green Party ballots (when he is offering Dem and Rep) he was visited by the Board of Elections and then he called me [an expletive]. I asked him first to either list all three ballots or simply ask people what ballot they prefer, he said "I can if I want to."
9:09am: Craig (my committeeman and roommate) was just handed a "green" democratic ballot and got all the way to the little voting booth before he realized what had happened. Dear lord.
9:45am: The Election Judge, who now seems to have an attitude, when asked if Green is a real party, said "unfortunately" and stated that it "isn't a real party." The person he was talking to was an electioneer for Bradley's campaign and not a voter but there certainly were other voters in the room.
A voter was told there were no Green Party ballots. During a call to report the incident, the pollworkers told him that he could vote using an electronic voting machine, but they did not have any paper ballots available (although paper ballots were available for the Republican and Democratic parties).
50th WARD, 5th PRECINCT
Green committeeman reports that the election judge is only offering Republican and Democratic ballots.
COOK COUNTY, NORTHBROOK
An election judge reports that judges were instructed to keep a tally of Green voters on a tally sheet that numbers up to 50. There is no such tally for the Democrats and Republicans.
COOK COUNTY, NORTHFIELD TOWNSHIP, 44th PRECINCT
A voter writes: "At approximately 11:30 am, at the polling place at 74 Park Drive, Glenview, Green Party ballots were still in shrink wrap, in the box, in the cabinet. Officials at the desk were indignant about my disappointment, and challenged me to "have credentials" in order to register my complaint.
DUPAGE COUNTY, MILTON TOWNSHIP, 28th PRECINCT
A pollwatcher reports that and election judge asks voter "which parties' primary ballot do you want?" The voter seemed confused by the question and the judge clarified by stating "Republican or Democrat". The pollwatcher immediately interjected and corrected the judge and asked her to please state all three parties in the primary from now on.
DUPAGE COUNTY, MILTON TOWNSHIP, 44th PRECINCT
A voter writes: "A judge repeatedly tried to give me a Democratic ballot, which I refused. The Green ballots were still wrapped up and semi-out of sight. As I approached the tables, I could hear only "Republican or Democrat?" over and over.
JACKSON COUNTY, MURPHYSBORO, 12th PRECINCT
A voter writes: "As I was leaving, the head lady was making a call about getting more Green ballots because they had only been sent three and at 7:30a they had already used 2 of them and she was worried about a run on Green voters."
MORE REPORTS AVAILABLE ON ILGP.ORG AS THEY COME IN.