Vermillion County Democrat chairman says voters were disenfranchised
Vermilion County Democrat Party Chairman Frank Wright and the election judge at the Danville Boys and Girls Club recently filed grievances with the Illinois attorney general and the state’s attorney over an insufficient number of Democrat ballots and other possible infringements of voter’s rights at several precincts.
The election judge called the Danville Election Commission on multiple occasions during last Tuesday’s primary elections to let them know she was running out of Democrat ballots. The last time she called, she claims the commission hung up on her.
“During the primary elections, several precincts ran out of Democratic party ballots," Wright recently told Chambana Sun. "She printed them out on 8.5-by-11 paper and offered magnifying glasses for those who may have trouble seeing the small print. The next precinct did the same thing, and then the next precinct followed suit.”
Wright and the election judge claims Will Nesbitt, director of the Danville Election Commission, failed to act accordingly.
“I personally asked Will Nesbitt if he printed as many Democratic ballots as Republican ballots and he said no,” Wright said. “He produced more Republican ballots than Democrat ones.”
Throughout the history of Vermilion County elections, Wright explained that more Democrats have voted than Republicans. Wright did not know why Nesbitt would print more GOP ballots with the 100 years of higher Democrat turnout.
Furthermore, Wright explained that when he asked about the paper and the complications in reading the ballots at that size, Nesbitt said Danville Wholesale Paper did not have any larger paper for printing. He chose what was available to them.
There were other issues as well.
“One of the polling places were there at 11 at night because the election judge forgot to initial the ballots,” Wright said. “They had to take the ballots out of the box, duplicate the ballots at their discretion, re-do the ballots and rerun them in the machine.”
Wright said both Republicans and Democrats were disenfranchised throughout the city and county on the federal ballots.
“I have more people wanting to file grievances on the Republican side than the Democrat side,” he said. Fourteen Republicans and 11 Democrats have they could not cast ballots for whom they wanted to vote.
For example, one woman told him that she went to vote and was given the incorrect ballot. When she returned the ballot and asked for the correct one, she was told she could not have it because she already took the incorrect one, even though the registrar admitted making a mistake.
“I would like to see a re-election because several people could not vote who wanted to vote,” he said. “I think it did sway the election. There is so much hokey pokey going on here, I think that we need to have a real election so we can see who the true winner was.”
Wright further argues that such issues are an affront to those who fight for voting rights.
“We have men and women who fight for this country to preserve the right to vote,” he said. “Don’t take it away on Election Day. There are people who give their lives for this privilege.”
He explained that in some precincts, candidates won by as few as 12 votes. Not providing enough ballots or giving out the incorrect ballots could sway an election easily with such small margins.
“I would like to see justice for these people here who haven’t been able to vote,” Wright said. “I don’t just work for Democrats, I work for the county. Both sides were disenfranchised on Election Day.”