ILLINOIS (IRN) — There were several instances of attempted voter fraud and equipment malfunctions in Illinois. One observer saw ballots “all over the place” at Chicago precincts where Dominion voting systems were used. The Illinois State Board of Elections says there haven’t been any major issues.
Tuesday was the final day for local elections officials to count remaining mail in and provisional ballots. They then transmit the vote data to the Illinois State Board of Elections by Nov. 24.
“Then our staff takes over,” ISBE spokesman Matt Dietrich said. “We do a statewide canvas where we take their official numbers that they’ve counted and gathered and we triple check their work is essentially what we do.”
Around a third of all votes cast in the election were mail-in ballots, shattering records, Dietrich estimated. While it still has yet to be certified, Dietrict said it could be north of 70 percent voter turnout. That’ll be known when the state certifies the elections Dec. 4.
There were some problems. In DuPage County, Dietrich said vote-by-mail applications were requested for dead people.
“And you had people try and return those to get ballots and those were caught, so we have the state’s attorney in DuPage County prosecuting three cases where that happened,” Dietrich said.
There were also machine reading problems in Ogle County Dietrich said were eventually resolved.
Although people raised concerns in other states about the Dominion voting systems used by Cook County and the Chicago Board of Elections, Dietrich said there weren’t any problems.
“Those allegations came up in other states outside of Illinois,” Dietrich said. “We’ve never had those types of problems or allegations within Illinois regarding the Dominion systems or any other systems.”
Cook County and the Chicago Board of Elections use Dominion, which has become a focal point for allegations of fraud in other states.
“Even if there is no merit to it, we have a duty to explain to people that we do use this system in Illinois but we do extensive testing, we have never found any problem with it,” Dietrich said.
In Chicago, 18th Ward Republican precinct committeeman Devin Jones said on election day he saw improper handling of ballots, poll workers trying to change ballots and Dominion machine malfunctions.
“They had ballots all over the place,” Jones said in an interview. “They had ballots on the desk where people checked in, they were eating chicken with the ballots sitting right there. They had ballots on a chair, under someone’s coat.”
“At this one particular precinct they were trying to redo the ballot, like remake the ballot [after someone left], which is not the proper process,” Jones said.
“I know we use Dominion in Chicago and I know that at more than half the predictions there were issues with the counter, the machine that you slide the ballots in which is how these people were able to have all these ballots laying around at different places,” Jones said. “A lot of the stuff I saw was these counter machines not working.”
Jones said he reported his findings to authorities but says he never got any follow up.
“The mess that I saw, it makes me wonder, if it happens here, I would have to believe that it has happened in a lot of other places,” Jones said.