Non-compliance on Con-Con remedy reported

Ann Knef Nov. 4, 2008, 10:18am

Voters are being asked to sign an affidavit indicating whether or not they have been given correction notices related to the constituional convention "Con-Con" referendum.

A judge in Cook County had ordered election officials to print notices directing voters to disregard misleading information on the ballot that deals with whether Illinois should hold a constitutional convention.

In spite of the fact that election officials also have been told by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to follow the order, there are reports of widespread non-compliance.

A controversy arose weeks ago after ballots were certified with inaccurate language stating that not voting on the referendum amounts to a "no" vote.

Lawsuits were then filed in Chicago against the Illinois State Board of Elections and the Secretary of State.

As a remedy, Cook County Circuit Judge Nathaniel Howse Jr. ordered election officials to print corrective notices, and ensure that each voter receive the notification. Polling places are also required to post notices.

Although Howse is a Cook County judge, Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn has said his decision is binding statewide.

The Chicago Bar Association (CBA), which filed one of the suits against the state agencies, is asking for voters to fill out the affidavits.

The CBA asks that affidavits be emailed to or faxed to 312-554-2054.

Attorney Steve Pflaum of Chicago, who represents CBA, has said before the situation is a "total mess."

He said Tuesday afternoon his client is trying to determine "how big of a mess."

As early voting began in St. Clair County, voters were not given the notices.

St. Clair County Clerk Bob Delaney had said his operations were not under the jurisdiction of a Cook County judge.

Pflaum said there are problems with compliance in other parts of the state.

And, according to a memo written by attorney Steve Sturm for the Illinois State Board of Elections, Kankakee State's Attorney Jamie Boyd indicated "in no uncertain terms that he would not be complying with Judge Howse's last order or any future order."

Poll watchers in Madison and St. Clair counties today indicated partial and full compliance.

In O'Fallon 8 precinct, a worker indicated voters were receiving notices and the notices had been taped on booths.

But in two Edwardsville precincts, 2 and 9, poll watcher Bob Hulme indicated the notices were set on a table for voters to read if they so chose.

More News