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Eliminate the Cook County Clerk’s Office
By Ray Hanania
Southwest News-Herald Newspaper• Friday, February 22, 2013
When it comes to election fraud, Cook County is one of the worst offenders. While making it easier for anyone to vote, Cook County officials have also made fraud easier.
No single vote process is more susceptible to fraud than Absentee Voting.
In the past, voters were only allowed to vote by Absentee Ballot when they couldn’t vote on election day. They needed a legitimate excuse. Now, to encourage everyone to vote, Cook County allows you to vote by absentee ballot.
At a recent training session of election judges, I asked Cook County Clerk David Orr about this now common scenario:
The County receives an Absentee Ballot. But on election day, the voter comes in to vote in person. The voter is told, sorry, you already voted. The voter can protest and cast a “Provisional Ballot.”
But Orr said when he reviews the two votes, he will take the Absentee Ballot if the signature looks legitimate and reject the vote by the voter.
In other words, David Orr believes a piece of paper has more rights than a human being. Anyone can get an absentee ballot and cast it by signing someone else’s name. All you need is a voter list with their signatures on it to forge the signature so it looks real.
Why would David Orr accept the piece of paper which is sent in by mail and reject the voter who walks into a polling place to cast their ballot?
How can you accept a piece of paper that could easily have been cast fraudulently and reject the real voter who shows up and casts a vote?
What kind of Democratic System is that? The system should always take the vote cast by the person than through Cook County’s corrupt system.
Orr’s top deputy was at his side when she complained that the Feb. 26 election battle in the suburb where I was at was “disruptive.”
“I had one voter at early voting tell me that she was so disgusted by all of the people who came up to her urging her to vote for their candidate that she didn’t want to vote,” she declared at the end of the training.
“Oh yea,” I replied. “Democracy is a pain in the ass alright.”
There is something wrong with the whole process of freedom and democracy when the freedom to urge the public to vote for a candidate is “disruptive” and a “hassle” and when the office of an elected official like David Orr describes voting is a “pain.”
What David Orr’s deputy is saying is that they don’t want voters to be lobbied by precinct captains or even the candidates. That’s because they only care about the numbers. Turnout. Cook County has a terrible voter turnout, I say because the system is so corrupt.
If that means vote fraud, so be it, according to David Orr.
The Illinois Legislature should intervene and eliminate the Cook County Clerk’s office. It should instead appoint a non-elected, non-political administrator to enforce the law fairly, and cut the budget in half.
When a politician like Orr hears charges of fraud, he can easily turn his back when it involves his political allies. When it involves his foes, he can suddenly scream about fraud and corruption and get off his cushy office chair and complain.
Why should an elected official and a politician like David Orr have that kind of partisan power to help his friends?
(Ray Hanania is an award winning columnist and political consultant named “Best Ethnic Columnist in America by New America Media and the recipient of four Peter Lisagor Awards from the Chicago Headline Club and the National Sigma Delta Chi Award 2010 from the Society of Professional Journalists. He covered Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992, and now provides media services to governments and political clients. Reach him at www.UrbanStrategiesGroup.com or www.TheMediaOasis.com)
- Election reformers doubt voting by mail is a solution to long wait times (rawstory.com)
- Authorities Investigating Poll Worker…Who Reported Woman Who Voted for Obama 6 Times (patdollard.com)
- Ohio poll worker, Obama supporter investigated for potentially voting six times in 2012 (foxnews.com)
- Ohio Officials: Poll Worker May Have Voted Six Times (nationalreview.com)
- Obama Poll Worker Voted Six Times (itmakessenseblog.com)
This post has already been read 4 times!
Hanania loves to write about American Arabs in politics, and focuses on Arab life in America.
Currently, he writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com. He writes on American politics for the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News newspaper and the Reporter Newspapers. He also writes for the online websites TheArabDailyNews.com and NewsAmericaNetwork.com (Illinois News Network at IllinoisNewsNetwork.com).
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Hanania began in journalism as an activist publishing Chicago’s first English-language American Arab Newspaper “The Middle Eastern Voice” from 1975 through 1977. In 1976, he was hired by the Chicago community newspaper The Southtown Economist (Daily Southtown) and in 1985 was hired by the Chicago Sun-Times and covered Chicago City Hall for both. In 1993, he launched the “The Villager” Newspapers which covered 12 Southwest Chicagoland suburban regions. In 2004, he published “The National Arab American Times” monthly newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East ethnic food stores in 48 American States.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. Formerly syndicated by Creators Syndicate, Hanania also has written news, features and Opinion Columns for Al Jazeera English, the Jerusalem Post, YNetNews.com, Arab News, Saudi Gazette, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star, the News of the World, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, and Aramco Magazine. His political columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald and Des Plaines Valley News, Regional News and Palos Reporter newspapers in Chicagoland. Hanania is the President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.
Hanania is Palestinian Christian from prominent Bethlehem and Jerusalem families. His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.
His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania
Email him at: RGHanania@gmail.com