Voting From the Casino Queen
During a press conference in October of 2004, Illinois Treasurer and Republican Party Chairman Judy Baar Topinka said suspicious cases of tracking absentee ballots is an issue about fairness.
It also was an issue quickly dismissed by East St. Louis Democrats.
“I don’t have any concerns about voter fraud in East St. Louis,” said Charlie Powell, East St. Louis Democratic Committee chairman and 9th precinct committeeman. “The Republicans are raising all this fuss to stymie the black voter in the black communities.”
One of the suspicious cases Topinka highlighted centered on Powell’s own home.
Here are some of the findings:
• A total of 30 registered voters, most with different last names, are purported to live at 1232 Cleveland Ave. in East St. Louis. The address is registered to Oliver Hamilton, a Democrat and 20th precinct committeeman. Eleven of the voters requested absentee ballots for the election Tuesday. Hamilton couldn’t be reached for comment.
• Of the 44 Democratic precinct committeemen in East St. Louis, 22 have at least three registered voters with different last names purporting to live at the committeemen’s homes. Seven of those committeemen have five or more.
• One woman listed the Casino Queen, 200 S. Front St., as her home address. The same woman requested her absentee ballot be sent to a St. Louis address.
• At least 678 voters are registered for both East St. Louis and St. Clair County.
• At Powell’s home, 1714 Bond Ave., 17 voters are registered. Of those, 14 cast ballots in the March primary election.
(from the Saturday, October 30, 2004 issue of the Belleville News Democrat)