I know from firsthand experience that claims of non-existent voter fraud are used to raise fears, steamroll facts, and overcome common sense, resulting in laws that have nothing to do with ballot security and everything to do with voter suppression and discrimination. – Congressman Marc Veasey
There are a plethora of ways to get on this journalist’s bad side, but nothing will accomplish that feat faster than claiming the 2020 election was “stolen.” That beyond bogus “theory” has cost me a number of long-term friendships but if you’re willing to subvert the very democracy upon which this nation was built in an effort to support a megalomaniacal narcissist who actually did his best destroy it, there’s no place for you in this country.
Not to mention that, despite the slew of lawsuits filed, not a single voter fraud claim has ever been substantiated.
“It’s your ‘opinion,’” you say? You’re not entitled to your opinion. You’re entitled to your informed opinion. Yet somehow conservatives still have the nerve to complain about those silly university “safe spaces.”
“Dinesh D’souza,” you say? Even neighborhood prostitutes utter that name with complete contempt. If the Democrats were truly capable of voter fraud on a national scale, how would ANY Republican ever get elected? How did the omnipotent Hilary Clinton lose to the likes of Trump and how are Mitch McConnel and Lindsey Graham still sucking at the taxpayers’ teat?
Put as simply as possible, if you believe voter fraud exists on any meaningful level, then you’re an unpatriotic idiot.
Of course, that stark reality didn’t stop a Campton Hills lunatic fringe group from claiming the 2020 Kane County election was fraught with “irregularities.” Their “theories” included an “inordinate” number of new KC voters were registered between 2012 and 2021 and the lack of election judge initials on vote-by-mail (VBM) ballots invalidate them.
Had those loons simply called the County Clerk’s office they would’ve quickly discovered that half of those 108,000 new registrants were the direct result of Kane County absorbing the 53,000 voters from former Aurora Election Commission in 2018. But no! Instead of verifying their claim, they lost all credibility by going forward with what was essentially a lie.
And despite all manner of dire “stop the steal” declarations, there is no statutory requirement for vote-by-mail ballots to be initialed by anyone. How do I know this? I went directly to the lead counsel of the Illinois State Board of Elections, So, that’s another lie.
But just when you thought those local loons and their debunked “charges” had been relegated to history’s dustbin, a county clerk challenger not only resurrected them, but is using them as the basis of his campaign platform.
Worse yet, he’s supported by a former County Chairman who’d rather use a false narrative to prosecute old feuds than spend that time strengthening the Kane County Republican Party in the face of a growing Democratic threat.
Aside from the Campton Hills lunacy, this candidate’s main contention is that the lack of provisional ballots cast in recent elections is a sign of far greater problems.
For the uninitiated, Springfield instituted the provisional ballot in 2012 so voters whose eligibility was challenged at the polling place could cast a “temporary” ballot. Those ballots are ultimately counted or rejected when the eligibility issue is resolved after election day.
But provisional ballots were essentially rendered obsolete when that same legislature passed the far simpler same-day voter registration in 2021. Why spend 20 minutes on a provisional ballot when same-day registration takes five?
Beyond that, when the provisional route was the only option, they constituted a very small percentage of the total ballots cast. This is the totality of KC provisional ballots cast in even-year elections:
- 2012 – 120 (0.08 percent of ballots cast)
- 2014 – 22 (0.02 percent)
- 2016 – 4 (0.002 percent)
- 2018 – 0
- 2020 – 0
So as previously stipulated, this nonsense is the kind of red herring that should be ignored because once you start answering specious “election irregularity” charges those absurd questions will never end.
Furthermore, there’s no evidence that voters requesting a provisional ballot were turned away from polling places in significant numbers. There’s no evidence that it happened at a minimal level, either.
Then, despite debunking the VBM initialing issue directly with his backer, this candidate still persists in claiming it’s a statutory requirement. I know that Campton Hills group went directly to the State’s Attorney’s Office with this “issue” and if the County Clerk was ignoring the law they would’ve immediately called him on the carpet.
So clearly, the provisional ballot “issue” is not nearly enough upon which to base a campaign.
I also took the time to sit down with County Clerk Jack Cunningham to see the electoral safeguards he recently implemented for myself. Those efforts include, but aren’t limited to:
- Vote-by-mail ballots are tracked from the Clerk’s office to the Post Office, the Post Office to the voter, the voter back to the Post Office, and from the Post Office back to the Clerk.
- At least one Democratic and one Republican judge of election must be present whenever VBM ballots are handled.
- Ballots are accepted into the Clerk’s office by a bipartisan team of election judges.
- Bipartisan teams oversee the VBM ballot extraction (from the envelopes) process, inspecting them for machine readability.
- A nifty automated procedure allows bipartisan teams to compare voter VBM signatures with existing records.
- Then those bipartisan judges run each batch of VBM ballots through the voting system scanner.
- Processed ballots are locked in the election storage vault until completion of a post-election audit.
Once the VBM ballots are received, the entire process is recorded by a series of video cameras and displayed on in-office closed circuit big-screen TVs for any – respectful – and interested citizens to observe.
It’s the kind of rigorous chain of custody that would make a major crimes task force prosecutor jealous. But even if none of these security measures were in place, meaningful voter fraud is still an impossibility.
I worked for Jack Cunningham for two years, and even though there’s no accounting for some folk’s judgment, my readers tell me I’m reasonably intelligent. So, I spent three days trying to come up with a scheme by which I could’ve undermined the most minor election result, and despite my vast IT background, I couldn’t come up with anything.
The fact that your candidate lost because he couldn’t handle a pandemic does not nearly amount to voter fraud, and it certainly doesn’t mean that honest elected officials have to spend an eternity answering spurious accusations. And to base a campaign on those vast misrepresentations is the worst kind of pandering to what can only be described as overly entitled loons and I’ll have no part of it.
The bottom line? I’ll be voting for Jack Cunningham in June and I hope you will, too.
In the process of editing this piece, that county clerk challenger called and I would be remiss if I failed to include the most significant parts of that conversation.
1. The candidate claimed his main concern was Jack Cunningham had serves as clerk for too long.
My response was while it’s certainly a reasonable issue, he barely mentioned it in his various candidate questionnaire answers.
2. The candidate stuck to his provisional ballot claim and posed the question, “Don’t you want to have full confidence in our elections.”
My response was that I already had full confidence in the electoral process and to indulge a fringe element’s conspiracy theories is always a bad idea. I also added that no election with a human element would be perfect and to seek that kind of perfection, as he insisted, would quickly blow the county clerk’s budget.
3. The candidate also stuck to his VBM initial argument and posed the following question, “Let’s say it’s not a statutory requirement. Since other jurisdictions do it, shouldn’t we?
I answered that while that was another reasonable contention, the issue was being framed as if some sort of crime was being committed. And some folks might consider that kind of thing to be libelous.
To sum it up, neither one of us changed each other’s mind.