Handful of Illinois counties miss military ballot deadline, GOP threatens lawsuit

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October 15, 2010

By Kyle Maichle

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois: A new report found that 26 counties in Illinois missed the September 18, 2010, deadline to send out military and overseas ballots. WLS-TV in Chicago got hold of a report from the Illinois State Board of Elections which revealed the counties that missed the deadline.[1]

Out of the 26 counties that failed to meet the deadline, two counties in the Chicagoland region did not send ballots out on time. Kane and Will counties, located in the West and South Chicago suburbs, did not send out ballots on time. All the other counties that missed the deadline were located in the Downstate region.[1] An elections official for St. Clair County told WLS radio that military ballots were not sent out until October 4, 2010, because they were waiting for a judge to rule on a ballot access lawsuit filed by the Constitution Party.[2]

Democrat Governor Pat Quinn made his first official remarks on the issue on October 14, 2010. Governor Quinn said, "Well I think the State Board of Elections and elections authorities should send those ballots out, and promptly. They have a law to comply with and that's important."[2]

Leaders in the Illinois Republican Party are pushing the U.S. Justice Department to extend the deadline for turning in military and overseas ballots. State Chairman Pat Brady said that if the Justice Department does not extend the deadline, he would file a lawsuit in federal court. Chairman Brady said: "if a meaningful extension is not granted, we will file a civil rights lawsuit on behalf of our servicemen and women.”[2]

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