David Orr, Cook County Clerk
         

Cook County Clerk David Orr on Cicero Elections 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 18, 2013

Courtney Greve: 312.603.0931 312.502.3267
courtney.greve@cookcountyil.gov

 

As you know, we have a very hotly contested race in Cicero for next Tuesday’s primary election. Three candidates are running for town president and have been running very aggressive campaigns.

Partly because of Cicero’s history, and party due to the nature of charges back and forth from the competing parties, I am here to assure all registered voters that they will be allowed to vote and any efforts at voter suppression will be strongly opposed.

Over the last month, there have been allegations of impropriety from all sides, and our office has taken the necessary steps to follow up where appropriate for us. We have worked with the State’s Attorney on issues beyond our purview to make sure that the rights of voters and the integrity of the election are protected. I have also been in regular contact with the U.S. Attorney’s office and the Department of Justice.

We have had reports of improper activities. So, before I go into specifics, here are the basic rules:

  • If you are a duly registered voter, it does not matter who calls you on the phone, or who comes to your door. You can vote early at an Early Voting site or you can vote on Election Day.
  • Again, if you are duly registered and have applied for a mail ballot, do not worry about campaign workers who call you, or who come to your door. You can apply for a mail ballot, also known as an absentee ballot and vote through the mail. There is still time to apply, but mail ballot applications must be received by this Thursday, February 21. Please don’t delay.
  • Of course, you cannot do both. You must either vote in person or through the mail.

Now, for specifics. I am going to talk about phone calls, mail ballots, Early Voting and Election Day.

TELEPHONE CALLS

If you get a phone call about your ballot, please verify that it is from our office.

  • Get the name and phone number of the person speaking to you, and feel free to call us back.
  • Our office does have a Spanish hotline to take calls at (312) 603-6767.
  • Or, please call (312) 603-0946.

MAIL/ABSENTEE VOTING

Some voters have reported that precinct captains, campaign workers or local elected officials have asked to take their voted mail ballot. This is absolutely illegal.

  • A precinct captain or a campaign worker cannot take your mail ballot and deliver it for you.
  • You cannot hand over your mail ballot to your local town clerk or elected official. This is also illegal.
  • A voter who votes a mail ballot must send it back to our office through the mail or hand deliver it to the Cook County Clerk’s office themselves or via a bonded delivery service or family member. Furthermore, a voter cannot have anyone but themselves or a family member place their ballot in the mailbox or mail slot at the post office.

This information has been sent to all candidates and committeemen throughout the County.

EARLY VOTING

We have had complaints from Cicero residents concerning the atmosphere at Cicero’s two Early Voting sites.

  • Cicero voters do not have to vote at the Cicero PSO or Community Center. They can also vote downtown at our office or at any of the other eight sites listed on cookcountyclerk.com.
  • A nearby Early Voting site is located in Berwyn at the Berwyn Public Library.
  • Early Voting continues through Saturday, February 23.

ELECTION DAY

As for Election Day—because emotions are running high we have been working with the US Attorney, the Department of Justice, the State’s Attorney and the Cook County Sheriff’s office to make sure that no voter suppression or intimidation occurs on Election Day.

I want to assure voters that we are doing everything we can to make sure Election Day goes well. We will have attorneys, monitors and sheriff’s deputies on hand to prevent voter intimidation. I want to encourage everyone who is registered, to go out and vote.

Nobody should worry about anything except casting a ballot for the candidate of their choice.

And finally, I want every voter to know that their ballot is private. Whether you vote early, through the mail or on Election Day, your vote is secret. Nobody can know how you voted.

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