This is a national disgrace. The Illinois State Board of Elections has been lying about the status of military absentee ballots and a lazy Department of Justice has allowed itself to be duped.
In an e-mail exchange between the Illinois State Board of Elections and the Department of Justice’s Voting Section shows the State has been misleading DOJ for almost a month.
On September 14th, Justin Weinstein-Tull, an attorney at DOJ’s Voting Section contacted Dan White, Executive Director of the Illinois State Board of Elections regarding the September 18th deadline to mail military ballots:
As you know, one of the key provisions of the MOVE Act requires that ballots be transmitted to UOCAVA voters by September 18, the 45th day before the November 2, 2010 Federal general election.
Pursuant to our UOCAVA enforcement responsibilities, we are asking, as we have in prior elections, that your office monitor the mailing of absentee ballots to UOCAVA voters to ensure that ballots are sent by your local election officials by the September 18 deadline. We ask that you monitor the date UOCAVA ballots are sent, and provide us with a status report by September 20 to confirm whether each of your localities has met the 45-day deadline. Also, we would request that you alert us in advance if you anticipate any delays in the ability of any of your localities to transmit ballots to UOCAVA voters by September 18, and the reason for those delays.
On September 20, Cris Cray, Director of Legislation at the Illinois State Board of Elections, sent this reply to Weinstein-Tull:
in response to your request to monitor our local election officials, please be advised that Illinois military and overseas ballots went out between September 3rd (Illinois law) and September 18th (Federal law).
From this point forward, all requests received will be mailed out that same day.
Lies. All lies.
Yesterday, Cray finally admitted that not all counties were in compliance and this may lead to the disenfranchisement of thousands of military personnel
Cray said it’s possible the ballots may not be counted because the state was tardy in sending them out.
But, the cover up continues. To start with, the Board is inconsistent in the number of counties that are involved. In yesterday’s Chicago Tribune Dan White is quoted as saying “fewer than 10 counties were involved.” But Pantagraph reports at least 35 counties missed the deadline.
St. Clair County Clerk Robert Delaney, who has a history of voter suppression, held 1,300 ballots for two weeks. Delaney says he informed the State Board of his decision prior to the September 18th deadline, which would be prior to Crays e-mail to Weinstein-Tull:
Delaney said he informed the Illinois State Board of Elections of his decision to delay the ballots’ mailing after receiving an e-mail message several days before the Sept. 18 deadline .
“I told the state what I was doing, the state board knew it.”
Who knew what and when? How many members of the military are going to lose their right to vote? Why is DOJ sitting on the sidelines?