Preliminary Statement: Vote Suppression in Cook County, 2018 Primary Election

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 20, 2018
Illinois Green Party
Secretary@ILGP.org

PRELIMINARY STATEMENT ON VOTE SUPPRESSION IN COOK COUNTY (2018 PRIMARY ELECTION)

COOK COUNTY -- The Illinois Green Party strongly condemns the conduct of poll workers in Cook County during the 2018 primary elections.

Our party has been contacted by voters from over fifteen different polling locations, spanning at least nine of suburban Cook County's townships, who were told by Cook County poll workers that they could not vote in the Green Party primary, and that only Republican or Democrat ballots were available.

This is a flagrant disenfranchisement of voters who wished to participate in a legal, properly registered primary election. The Illinois Green Party is an established party with a registered write-in candidate within Cook County, and fully entitled to the same primary process as the Democrat and Republican parties. 

The conduct of poll workers in denying Green Party primary participation to Cook County voters is inexcusable. Whether it represents a lack of proper training or deliberate vote suppression on the part of the Cook County Clerk's office, the effect is the same: the disenfranchisement of voters whose first choice was to participate in the Green Party primary.

We will continue to reach out to our supporters, and to compile as complete and accurate a list as we can of those voters who wished to vote Green in the suburban precincts but were denied the opportunity to do so.

For questions or media requests, or to add your organization's voice to our statement in support of fair, open elections, contact secretary@ilgp.org or call (773) 809-4547.

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VOTE SUPPRESSION ALERT - COOK COUNTY

Cook County voters, be aware: the Illinois Green Party is an established party in Cook County, with a primary ballot for the March 20th election, and a valid write-in candidate (who will need 1,720 write-in votes to qualify for the November general ballot). 

YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO VOTE IN THE GREEN PARTY PRIMARY IN SUBURBAN COOK COUNTY!

However, the Cook County Clerk's office has not made paper ballots available. All Green Party votes must be cast on the touchscreen machines.

We have had multiple reports now of voters going to their polling place, asking for a Green Party ballot, and being told that those aren't available, and offered the choice of Democrat/Republican ballots instead. Other voters have asked for "the Green ballot," and been handed the paper version of the Democrat ballot, which has a green bar across the top of it. 
Voters from at least seven of Cook County's townships have reported being denied Green Party ballots by the poll workers, and told to select Democrat/Republican ballots instead.
 
DO NOT ALLOW POLL WORKERS TO DENY YOU A GREEN PARTY BALLOT!
 
If you are voting in suburban Cook County, you have a legal right to vote in the Green Party primary. Tell the poll workers that you want the touchscreen machine set up for the Green Party ballot. Do not accept any other party's ballot, or the nonpartisan ballot.
 
If you have any problems, or encounter any attempts to deny the availability of a Green Party ballot in suburban Cook County, please contact us at (773) 809-4547, and call the Cook County Clerk's Election Day ballot hotline at 312-603-0920.
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Illinois: You Can Vote Green, Right Now! Here's How.

Early voting has begun for the 2018 primary election in Illinois. The early voting window runs from March 5th to March 19th, the day before the March 20th Election Day.

Voters must choose a ballot at their polling place: Republican, Democrat, Green (where available), or nonpartisan. The nonpartisan ballot will have only referenda (ballot questions), without any individual candidates. 

Green Party Ballots Available

Illinois holds primary elections for "established parties." The Illinois Green Party is established in Cook County and the 12th Congressional District, which covers all of Alexander, Franklin, Jackson, Jefferson, Monroe, Perry, Pulaski, Randolph, St. Clair, Union and Williamson counties, and part of Madison County.

In those areas, voters will be able to ask for a Green Party ballot during early voting and on Election Day, March 20th.

Voters cannot cast votes for Green Party candidates, including write-in votes, on any other party's ballot. Those votes will be discarded.

Green Party Turnout is Essential In Cook County!

In Cook County, a vacancy created by the death of Commissioner Timothy Bradford will be on primary ballots as a write-in-only primary, with no ballot-listed candidate names. (This is true on all party's ballots, not just the Green Party ballot.)

For a write-in candidate in a primary election to advance to the general election, a minimum number of votes must be met. In the "Vacancy of Bradford" election, that number is 1,720 votes.

That means we need 1,720 suburban Cook County voters to pull the Green Party ballot, and cast a write-in vote for the Green Party's registered write-in candidate, Geoffrey Cubbage.

If we do not receive at least 1,720 write-in votes for Geoffrey Cubbage from suburban Cook County voters, we will not have a candidate for that seat in the general election. 

For more information on the "Vacancy of Bradford" election, and detailed instructions on how to cast your write-in vote, please visit the "How to Vote" page on the Greens for MWRD campaign website

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