Election board lists more general election votes than voters in Chicago
More than 14,000 votes were cast in Chicago during the 2016 general election than there were voters to cast them, based on separate figures released by the Chicago Board of Elections, the chairman of the Chicago Republican Party has reported.
Chris Cleveland told the Chicago Wire that "on a whim," he filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the board, which provided him with a list of 1,101,178 people who voted in the general election. An earlier post on the board's website said that 1,115,664 votes had been cast.
“There should never be more votes than voters,” Cleveland said. “Every ballot cast should be recorded against a registered voter.”
The party did a breakdown of voting by precinct, and Cleveland said it found an uneven distribution of discrepancies. Fifteen precincts had 100 more ballots cast than voters, while others had fewer votes than voters.
In fact, based on the party's calculations, the combined total of votes in precincts showing more votes cast than voters was approximately 16,000, Cleveland said.
Cleveland said that the Chicago Republicans have asked the board repeatedly since January to explain the discrepancy, but is has responded by saying only that “there will be a final report.”
“I heard through a back channel that they are scrambling to put something together as a way of explanation,” he said. “This is either a case of massive incompetency or massive fraud.”
Jim Allen, a board spokesman, said that the list turned over to the Chicago Republicans was incomplete and handed over prematurely.
“Not all voters were entered electronically into the system at first,” he said. “They have since been added.”
He added that he had heard nothing about the issuing of a “final report.”
After being informed of Allen's comments, Cleveland said he immediately made an updated request for data.
"Technically, they have seven days to respond," he said.
Separately, Washington-based Judicial Watch named Illinois among 11 states that have another kind of discrepancy in their voting rolls: The number of registered voters exceeds the number of voting-age citizens as determined by a review of Census data.
In April, the group sent a notice-of-violation letter along with a threat to sue the 11 states.
Robert Popper, director of Judicial Watch’s Election Integrity Project and formerly deputy chief of the voting section of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department, said that not maintaining accurate voting rolls violates the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.
“People remember the act as the ‘motor voter’ law because it requires the states to offer voter registration forms with driver license applications,” Popper said. “But what a lot of people forget is that as a compromise for getting the act through, it requires states to maintain accurate voting rolls.”
Judicial Watch identified 26 Illinois counties where voter registration was higher than the number of people eligible to vote, according to Census numbers.
“The norm of registered voters to those eligible is in the 70 percent to 80 percent range,” he said. “Anything in the 90 percent range or above is a red flag.”
Popper said that some states explain the discrepancy by arguing that the high registration numbers are due to having inactive voters on their rolls. The problem with that is that inactive voters can still vote.
“Each state has its own laws to determine whether a voter is inactive,” he said. “But to actually take someone off the voting rolls is a very deliberate process spelled out by federal law, and few states do it.”
Popper said that the responses from the states have ranged from “they will look into it” to “showing reluctance to do anything.”