Feds launch investigation on Illinois military and overseas ballots

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October 13, 2010

By Kyle Maichle

CHICAGO, Illinois: The U.S. Justice Department has launched an investigation to determine if Illinois election officials sent out military and overseas ballots on time[1].

Chris Cray, Director of Legislation for the Illinois State Board of Elections, confirmed the investigation according to WLS Radio. Cray said that not all 110 local election boards are fully complying with the MOVE Act. As part of the investigation, the Director of Legislation is keeping track of which local election boards are complying with the 45 day deadline for sending out military and overseas ballots. The State Board would be forced to invalidate any military or overseas ballot that was not sent out by the 45 day deadline. All absentee ballots had to be sent out by September 18, 2010 in order to be counted[1].

Invalidated ballots may effect the results of the November 2, 2010 general election, especially with the race for the open U.S. Senate seat once held by President Barack Obama as a dead heat according to recent polling[2].

Justice Department Spokeswoman Xochil Hinojosa did confirm about the investigation in a written statement, but did not release any specific details. Ms. Hinojosa said that: "the Department is working with all states, including Illinois, to investigate and remedy any problems that will prevent our men and women serving overseas from having the opportunity to vote and have their votes counted."[1]

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady and U.S. Senate candidate Mark Kirk issued written statements about the investigation[3][4]. Both Brady and Kirk said that they were deeply troubled to hear about the news and called on the Justice Department to conduct a full investigation[4][3]. Representatives for Democrat gubernatorial candidate Pat Quinn and U.S. Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias did not issue statements about the investigation[5][6].

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