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Update on DuPage Sample Ballot Debacle

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Norquist Nemesis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-22-04 11:22 AM
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Update on DuPage Sample Ballot Debacle
FYI DuPage voters, the Chair of the Democratic Party of DuPage County has retained legal counsel and possibly moving forward with a lawsuit. Here's the Press Release sent out on 10/20:

DUPAGE DEMOCRATS DEMAND SAMPLE BALLOT CORRECTED

LOMBARD, IL --- Gayl Ferraro, Chair of the Democratic Party of DuPage County, today demanded a reprint and redistribution of the sample ballots that were distributed this morning to hundreds of thousands of newspaper readers in DuPage County containing inaccurate and misleading information that has the impact to sway voters to vote Republican for U.S. Congress, DuPage County Board and Forest Preserve. The DuPage Democrats demand that the reprint include extra pages which display a full apology, a detailed explanation of the error, the ramifications of the original sample ballot, and instructions to delete the originally distributed sample ballot.

"If this reprint is not performed to our satisfaction," Ferraro began, "we will take legal action over this blatant and coordinated effort by DuPage County Republican officials to turn the election in their favor."

The DuPage County Election Commission today distributed hundreds of thousands of "sample ballots" as inserts in over 40 newspapers throughout DuPage County for voters to use in their decision making process.

Republican Henry Hyde is listed as facing no opposition, even though Hyde is facing a tough race from Democratic opponent, Christine Cegelis. To make matters even more confusing, Cegelis is listed incorrectly as a candidate for State Senate in the 41st Legislative District. "Senate" is also misspelled as "Sentate". Ms. Rodono, the Republican candidate for State Senate in the 41st Legislative District is running unopposed, so it does not affect her race.

On the sample ballots under Members of the County Board, each of the six districts show "two to be elected" after the district listing. The same is displayed for Members of the Forest Preserve on the sample ballot, with "two to be elected" also being listed. The error is that only one candidate is to be elected.

The problem is that entrenched Republican voters are exceptionally familiar with the voting process in DuPage and will vote for their one Republican County Board and Forest Preserve candidate as they have in the past.

New voters, the young or first-timers, are unfamiliar with this process, heavily Democratic thanks to a strong voter registration and campaigning effort, and will bring the sample ballot into the polling place and use it as their guide for voting. However, voting for two will spoil the ballot and negate a heavy Democratic voter turnout.

The nine DuPage Democratic Candidates affected are:
County Board District 1 - Tim Gingras
County Board District 2 - Doug Cole
County Board District 3 - Rich Moss
County Board District 4 - Dan Bailey
County Board District 5 - Hiram Wurf
County Board District 6 - Doug Henk

Forest Preserve District 1 - Linda Hilbert
Forest Preserve District 3 - Don Evans
Forest Preserve District 5 - Tina Beaird

"The DuPage Republicans started feeling the heat because of our strong slate of candidates at both the county and congressional level, and rather than play fair, they stooped to dirty tricks," said Ferraro. "This is the direct result of a one-party system, and is exactly why you should not vote Republican in DuPage County. If there is a chance they will lose, they cheat. This is the top-to-bottom win-at-all-costs attitude of the Republican Party that we saw in Florida in 2000, and has now slithered its way into DuPage County."

The error could cost Christine Cegelis the election in the Sixth Congressional District.

"I cannot believe that with all of the problems with the election in 2000, that the DuPage Election Commission does not triple-check their work. I thought that this would be a fair election, but I was wrong," Cegelis stated upon seeing the sample ballot imprinted with the "Legal Notice" on it.

"This was not an honest mistake," Cegelis added. "Considering that I won the Primary Election, I cannot believe that anyone at the DuPage County Election Commission did not know that I was running against Henry Hyde. This does not give me any confidence in DuPage County's ability to hold a fair election."

"This is an obvious ploy to disenfranchise and confuse the electorate that is becoming more and more Democratic," Ferraro continued. "I am appalled that Bob Saar would even consider signing off on a sample ballot that is so erroneous."

Upon hearing the news about the sample ballot error, Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn stated, "The DuPage County Election Commission has a solemn duty to conduct elections with competence and without bias. It is imperative that this board immediately rectify the blunder it has committed in describing the sixth congressional district and county races."

MEDIA and PHOTO OP AVAILABILITY: Christine Cegelis and Gayl Ferraro will be available in person today with a 4 foot enlarged sample ballot containing the ballot errors for a good photo visual until 8:00 pm for live interviews with both the print and electronic media at the DuPage Democratic Campaign Office. The campaign office is at 1000 Rohlwing in North Gate Mall on the northwest corner of North Avenue and Route 53 in Lombard. It is on the south side of the mall and faces North Avenue. The phone number for Cegelis is 630-629-1143, and is 630-629-1125 for Ferraro.

*****
They also held a press conference with TV and Print Media at the campaign office. I haven't heard any followups on how it went.
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Howardx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-22-04 11:24 AM
Response to Original message
1. thanks for posting
another entry in my already very large "votescam04" file
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