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by Joe Wiegand and Gene J. Koprowski
Wednesday, Jun. 13, 2001 at 3:37 PM
Investigations by two non-profit show irregularities in vote, elections record keeping in Chicago. Is this the tip of a fraud iceberg?
The machine politics and -- to be charitable -- dubious election practices within the City of Chicago and Cook County have long gained national notoriety and even been erected to mythical status. Legendary stories abound of ballot boxes being thrown into the Chicago River and precinct captains being paid off by the powers that be.
For too long, these stories have been "pooh-poohed" and even cynically laughed at by some. Well, it's time for these travesties to stop.
This past month, a coalition of local non-profit groups discovered possible violations by the City of Chicago Board of Election Commissioners and the Cook County Board of Elections in relation to the keeping of key election records. The coalition, which consists of the Family Taxpayer's Network and the Institute for Human Rights, discovered the possible violations as part of an ongoing investigation into the abnormally high number of disqualified votes for George W. Bush in the 2000 presidential election.
During the months of April, May, and June 2001, coalition members requested from both the Cook County and City of Chicago election boards a list of records related to the 2000 election.
The Freedom of Information Act law states that each government agency must keep a list of all records available for inspection and produce that list within seven days.
Both the City and County boards requested seven-day extensions beyond the initial seven days they were legally mandated to produce the list.
The coalition believes this may be the tip of the iceberg in terms of illegalities in voting and election procedures in Cook County and the City of Chicago. In the last presidential election, there were scores of precincts where the number of disqualified votes far outnumbered the votes counted for George W. Bush. The election results in these Chicago and Cook County precincts just don't pass the smell test.
It's time to stop ignoring these overt violations of human rights and the infringements of our basic rights to self-government - and to put an end to the corruption of Crook County. The coalition will continue to investigate these election records until we are positive that all election laws are complied with in Cook County and the City of Chicago. But we need you to be involved too. If you want to see voting records in Chicago, simply fax the Cook County Clerk at 312-603-9783; and the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners at 312-263-3649.
Family Taxpayer's Network
Eugene J. Koprowski
Chairman and Founder
Institute for Human Rights, Inc.
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