Hawkins continues quest for East. St. Louis voter records

Christina Stueve Hodges Aug. 30, 2012, 6:41am


An East St. Louis man is asking St. Clair County Circuit Judge Stephen McGlynn to reconsider his July 27 order that rejected his request to access East St. Louis' list of inactive and "dead" voters.

McGlynn dismissed the case filed by Matt Hawkins, president of the East St. Louis Alliance for Change. Hawkins sued the East St. Louis Board of Elections to force it to turn over the city's voter rolls.

Hawkins on Aug. 27 filed a motion to reconsider or set aside McGlynn's order of July 27, citing the fact that Hawkins and the East St. Louis Alliance for Change now have an attorney - Edward J. Blake of Blake Law Group in Belleville.

"We believe there's six to 10,000 inactive voters that will be used to affect voter fraud in the November election, and we seek to remove those illegally retained inactive votes, so that voter fraud potential will be greatly reduced, increasing our chances of having a clean election in November and going forward," Hawkins said.

McGlynn ruled July 27 Hawkins did not have standing individually to bring suit.

He ruled that Freedom of Information Act requests that were filed in effort to obtain the information were brought by the East St. Louis Alliance for Change, a political committee, and not by Hawkins individually.

East St. Louis Attorney Richard Sturgeon, who represents the city's election board, argued that the case be dismissed, since Hawkins was not represented by a licensed attorney.

Sturgeon said over the telephone Thursday that he plans to file a motion to dismiss Hawkins' motion to reconsider.

Hawkins also filed a complaint on Aug. 13, petitioning the court to set a public hearing regarding the East St. Louis 1885 election law.

His petition contains 1,000 signatures of registered East St. Louis voters and asks the court to place a question on the November ballot, asking if the city election law should be rejected.

The election law of 1885 allows municipalities other than county government to establish an election commission referendum. East St. Louis adopted the election law of 1885 in 1886, Hawkins said.

"We're the only municipality in St. Clair County that has a city election law," he said. "We're also the only municipality with 40 percent poverty. I think it's an expensive luxury that we can't afford when we need so much more public safety."

A hearing on the petition will be held at 10 a.m. Friday in McGlynn's court.

East St. Louis Election Board Assistant Executive Director Kandrise Mosby had no comment.

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