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Democratic challenger to longtime GOP Rep. Henry Hyde left off sample ballots
printed in newspapers in Illinois
As the article notes, the GOP controls
the county election board which makes this quite fishy - but I'm not
going to attribute intent to this yet without further evidence. Via
reader SM, here is a report in the Daily
U.S. Rep. Henry Hyde
has competition in the upcoming election - no matter what was in
local newspapers Wednesday.
The DuPage County
Election Commission left Democratic challenger Christine Cegelis'
name off of the sample ballot printed in 43 area newspapers.
The sample, which the
county is required by law to publish, shows the incumbent Hyde
running unopposed in the 6th Congressional District. Cegelis is
listed as an unchallenged candidate for the 41st Illinois Senate
seat, a race in which state Sen. Christine Radogno is the only
officials say the error was unintentional, but Cegelis doesn't
"This is the
most hotly contested race in DuPage County," she said. "I
can't believe it was an honest mistake."
Robert T. Saar, the
election commission's director, said he is investigating how the
error occurred. The sample ballot printed on the county's Internet
site is correct, as are the candidate listings in the office's
Absentee ballots -
many of which already have been punched - show a Hyde-Cegelis race,
he said. The Nov. 2 ballots also have both names.
"How we made
this mistake is beyond me," he said. "This isn't supposed
to happen. We take our jobs very seriously."
The Rolling Meadows
Democrat thinks her name may have been deleted by a someone in the
Republican party, which has members controlling - and staffing - all
countywide offices. DuPage makes up 60 percent of the 6th
Congressional District, while the northwest suburbs account for 40
disturbing," Cegelis said. "I thought that this would be a
fair election. I was wrong."
Cegelis said she does
not believe Hyde, who has been in Congress for 30 years, had
anything to do with the error.
Saar denies his staff
would sabotage the sample ballot.
"I know what it
looks like to her," he said. "I grieve about that. I work
very, very hard to impart a level of confidence with the parties
that this office is fair and impartial."
The commission will
reprint two corrected pages of the sample ballot in local papers, in
accordance with state law, Saar said. The county will absorb the
cost for the second printing.
wants the county to publish the entire ballot again. Otherwise, she
says she will be at a disadvantage with voters who take the sample
into the voting booth with them.
Reader SM also sent in this report in
the Democratic candidate for the U.S. Congress in the 6th District,
expressed outrage Wednesday at the DuPage County Election Commission
for putting her name in the wrong place in a voters guide that was
sent out for inclusion in dozens of local newspapers.
The 12-page guide includes lists of all the candidates for office in
DuPage and referendum questions that will appear on the November
ballot, as well as voting instructions. In it, the name of Cegelis'
opponent, Republican U.S. Rep. Henry Hyde, appears as if he's
running unopposed. Cegelis' name appears as if she's running
unopposed for state Senate District 41, a seat held by Sen.
Christine Radogno (R-Lemont), who actually is unopposed.
"This was not an honest mistake," Cegelis said, pointing
out that she won a contested primary, so election officials should
know her name. "This does not give me any confidence in DuPage
County's ability to hold a fair election."
Robert Saar, the Election Commission's executive director, took
responsibility for what he called a "cut and paste" error
and pledged to make sure voters are informed about their correct
election choice. Election Day ballots will not be affected, he said.
"The bottom line is I'm looking at a fact that we created a
very serious error, and I'm taking it as serious as a heart attack
here, and we're going to have a two-page correction in every paper
to make sure the voters know there was an error," he said.
Democratic officials said they were "appalled" and pointed
out further mistakes on the certified general election notice. The
word "senate" was misspelled "sentate" and the
index told voters that two candidates for County Board and the
Forest Preserve District Board would be elected in each district,
when only one will.
"This is an obvious ploy to disenfranchise and confuse the
electorate," said DuPage Democratic Party Chairwoman Gayl
Ferraro, who called it a result of one-party rule in the staunchly
Saar defended the integrity of his non-partisan office.
"There's no history of that sort of thing," he said. He
also promised a comprehensive internal audit to determine how the
mistake occurred and prevent it from happening again.
"Accepting responsibility for the mistake is a necessary step
to correcting the problem, which the commission appropriately has
committed to doing," said Sam Stratman, a Hyde campaign
It was unclear how many readers had seen the inserts, but Saar
conceded that hundreds of thousands of them had been distributed to
43 local papers, most of which hit the streets on Wednesday or
The guide appeared in Wednesday's editions of the Lombardian and the
Villa Park Review, which have a total circulation of about 18,000.
The Tribune does not run the insert.
Saar estimated corrections could cost up to $12,000. "Whatever
it takes, that's what's going to be done," he said, adding that
they would appear in all 43 papers, whether they had included the
incorrect guide or not and regardless of whether they circulate in
the 6th Congressional District.
Democrats called on the commission to release a corrected 12-page
voter guide, but Saar said taxpayers would not support that.
The correction "will be big, it will be bold and we'll fulfill
all the [legal] requirements," he pledged.
has a picture of the ballot.