Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Does anyone have nerve to challenge election outcome based on early voting?

According to the letter of the law, people should have been able to cast their ballots for the upcoming mayoral election as far back as Jan. 17.
Voting starts Tuesday for mayoral election

We should have had some 12 days worth of votes being cast by people who just can’t wait until Feb. 26 proper for Election Day and to make a trip to their polling places.

INSTEAD, THE EARLY voting process begins Tuesday. Anybody who is so eager to cast a vote for mayor for the 2019 election cycle can make the trip downtown to the Board of Election Commissioners offices on Washington Street.

As for people who want the convenience of casting their votes for the municipal elections at a facility in or near their neighborhoods, those places will open to the public as of Feb. 11.

Which creates the potential problem in that state laws that permit the concept of voting in advance of the election say there should be 40 days worth of time prior to Election Day for the process to be valid.

Would it be possible that someone would dare try to challenge the election results based on the idea that the process for early voting wasn’t adhered to? Would somebody out there have the nerve to try to have election results tossed out because of a nitpicking attitude toward process?

I COULD SEE such a thing happening; particularly by a “sore loser” type of person who had supported one of the mayoral candidates who had only got 1 or 2 percent voter support.

If Chicago won’t pick their preference, they’ll fight to gum up the works so that we get nobody. Which is a whiny, loser-type attitude. But I could see someone trying to justify it as merely being politics.

The reality is that there was no way the 40-day standard could have been adhered to; what with the fact that there once were some 21 people who had nominating petitions filed on their behalf so they could be on the ballot for mayor.

The appeals process managed to winnow some seven of them off the ballot – most prominently Cook County clerk of court Dorothy Brown, whom Elections Board officials concluded didn’t have enough valid signatures of support to be worthy of a ballot slot.

ALTHOUGH TO BE honest, her own legal predicament (Alderman Edward M. Burke isn’t the only political person who has federal investigators looking into their affairs) would have doomed any mayoral bid of hers to failure.

But that winnowing process took time. It has only been in the past week that the mayoral ballot has become settled. Unless someone is capable of a successful legal challenge in the courts to get restored.

Which would be a complete headache for political people – one that just about everybody involved in the process is hoping has no chance of becoming a reality.

So the situation now is that we have some 14 people running for mayor, and various polls show that none of them have overwhelmingly strong voter support.

WE’RE LIKELY TO get an election at February’s end in which two candidates, each of whom manage to get about 20 percent voter support, face each other in the April 2 run-off. Which would mean about 60 percent of the electorate is going to be peeved because they wanted somebody else.

People of a petty nature are most likely to get p-o’ed enough to want to try some sort of ridiculous scheme to throw the election process out of whack. A desperation move perfect for someone who’s more interested in causing calamity, rather than seeing the city elect a replacement to serve as mayor for the soon-to-be retiring (at least as far as municipal government is concerned) Rahm Emanuel.

So it wouldn’t shock me in the least to see someone try something as absurd as this.

Election ’19 has been ridiculous enough. Seeing the city have to justify in a courtroom why it couldn’t follow the letter of the law in conducting the election would be a fitting end – although I doubt there’s a judge alive who’d want to go into the city history books as the guy who tried to overturn an electoral outcome.


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