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April 22, 2016 / jeffnward

Not so Quick Hits – April 22, 2016

The Daily Herald gets it wrong again!

Remember the Seinfeld episode in which George does the polar opposite to his every instinct and winds up having his best day ever? Perhaps the Daily Herald should  consider the same possibility.

Because, once again, in one of the most inane, sad, and lazy editorials I’ve ever read, not only did their Editorial Board fail to lift a flippin’ finger, but they got absolutely nothing right.

To fill in those background blanks, we recently discussed the curious case of Democratic DuPage Recorder write-in candidate Moon Kahn, who  appeared to fall 145 votes short of the 844 required to move on to the November ballot.

Moon Kahn

Moon Khan

When Moon insisted DuPage Election Commission irregularities were to blame and he’d actually received 4,000 votes, I took exception noting that digital voting machines are an all-or-nothing proposition and no DuPage Democrat has or ever will get 4,000 write-in votes.

The possibility I didn’t consider is miscounted paper ballots because so few of them are cast these days. But in this increasingly bizarre tale, an Ancel Glink law firm instigated court ordered recount quickly found those extra 145 votes. Thus, Kahn is, indeed, looking forward to the General Election.

Now back to the Daily Herald. They reamed the DEC for their nefarious malfeasance, lamented the recount required a court order, and said they really need to train their election judges better.

So let’s examine those absurd contentions, one by one:

1. “It shouldn’t have taken this long, nor should Kahn have need to file a lawsuit to get this done.”

(Yikes! Even their writing is horrific!) It took that long and required a lawsuit because that’s exactly what the statute mandates. DEC Director Bob Saar tried to tell the Daily Herald that his hands were tied, but they wouldn’t listen.

Had he unilaterally cut the seals on those voting machines and ballot envelopes, he’d already be headed to Stateville.

With Khan’s errant 18 percent margin of “defeat,” the only means of a inciting a County financed recount is via court order. And the amount of time it took to get one had nothing to do with the DEC. As soon as Kahn hired Ancel Glink, and as soon as Ancel Glink went to court, Kahn got his recount.

It is incredibly difficult to understand how the Daily Herald Editorial Board doesn’t understand something this simple, but they clearly don’t. The bottom line is, if you want to change the process, then change the law.

2. “The DEC needs to investigate its processes and training of judges…”

Though that kind of effort would benefit any local election authority, once again, the Daily Herald completely misses the underlying issue. According to Keri-Lyn Kraftheffer, the Ancel Glink attorney who won this case:

Krafthefer

Keri-Lyn Krafthefer

“It looks like the amendments to the Election Code increasing the burdens on election judges on Election Day pushed them over the edge. There were over 6,200 voters that registered in polling places on Election Day, so judges had to process those registrations in addition to their usual functions. Many experienced judges have resigned, polling places had more precincts in them, and some judges were no shows. We need a legislative fix. Candidates should not have to be required to file an election contest lawsuit to have their votes counted initially.

Illinois State Board of Elections General Council Ken Menzel added this:

“DuPage is one of the best. There has always been some level of problem of this kind all over the state, and we appear to be at the point where the precinct workers are just too overburdened to handle all of their tasks”

Ah! So it would seem those unfunded State mandates are our local undoing yet again!

Did the DH Editorial Board get off their ample butts and call Kraftheffer or Menzel themselves? Nope! Did DH reporter Robert Sanchez make any effort to talk with either one of ’em? Nope!

Does the Daily Herald have any credibility whatsoever? Nope!

There are just two possible conclusions here:

1. Some overworked and completely stressed out DuPage election judges made a mistake. The only way to correct that mistake was by court order. Candidate Khan hired Kraftheffer, who got the order, which led to the recount, which put him back on the ballot.

That’s exactly the way the system is supposed work.

If, like me, you fervently believe that’s not a very good process, then start lobbying Springfield to change it. But don’t blame the DEC for following the law.

2. Not only is Same Day Voter Registration the real culprit, but if we don’t dispense with it soon, we won’t have any Election Judges at all.

Why would any self-respecting retired election judge toil from 7 a.m. to as late as 11 p.m. while facing the slings and arrows of outrageous slow voter line fortune only to have the Daily Herald say “they suck!”

And then to get paid all of 150 bucks for that kind of misery? I wouldn’t do it for five times that amount!

What that DH editorial should have written is that we either need to either eliminate same day registration or the State should provide the funds for local elections authorities to make it work.

I’d typically end a piece like this by saying the Daily Herald could certainly do better, but clearly, they can’t.

(For purpose of full disclosure, the Ancel Glink law firm is a sponsor of the Left, Right and You radio show. That said, if you do need help with a problem like Mr. Khan’s, you’d be foolish not to hire them.)

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