Sunday, August 2, 2009

Republicans Shut Down
Illegal Voter Registration Operation
at the Lake County Fair

The story was broken on this blog here about the Lake County Republican illegal voter registration operation at the County Fair this week. This sort of operation is specifically prohibited by Illinois Law and the State Board of Elections:
Political parties having certified civic organization status must NOT conduct voter registration activities at political functions. Voter registration activities must be organized as separate and distinct functions by all organizations. Any type of electioneering or campaigning while conducting voter registration activities is STRICTLY PROHIBITED.
State Board of Elections Guidelines

Lake County Clerk Willard Helander, the controlling authority over voter registration, was present at the Fair and at the Republican booth. Helander refused to recognize the operation was illegal. Helander's rationale was since "Motor Voter" forms were distributed, it did not qualify as voter registration activity. All this despite the fact that a sign in the Republican booth clearly says:
New photos of the operation became available to us and are being publicly released here for the first time.

The State Board of Elections strictly prohibits campaigning or electioneering while conducting voter registration. In the photo below, the campaign yardsigns belong to:
  • Willard Helander
  • Mark Curran
  • Robert Skidmore
  • JoAnn Osmond
  • Dan Duffy
  • Sandy Cole
  • Ed Sullivan Jr
  • Dan Sugrue
  • Mark Kirk

Also photos of Suzi Schmidt appear above in two places, identifying her as a candidate for the State Senate.

The illegal voter registration operation held by the Republican Party stretched from July 28 until August 2 at the Lake County Fair. The operation was shut down at the close of the 2009 County Fair.


Anonymous said...

Same old Lake County GOP.....the rules don't apply to us mentality. Oh and of course it is shut down the last day of the fair. Wish someone would have got a picture of Helander standing in the booth.
Willard is a very popular Clerk, but she does have a propensity to bend the rules in favor of her GOP friends, whether she herself is electioneering for GOP candidates on the tax payer's dime, stalling on Democratic Election Judge requests or making disparaging remarks about Democrats at County Sponsored Training Events.

Anonymous said...

Nice try. Same cry over and over by you and the Democrats but the booth was legal and the activities were legal.

Get over it!

Your headline was just as misleading as your articles and blurry photographs. Next time check out the law a little more carefully instead of relying upon angry Democrats who can't figure out how to register voters legally, except of course, unless they are goldfish!

Joe said...

Save that photo as evidence. It will come in handy when Willard & her GOP thugs rear their hypocritical heads as the primary gets closer. And you know they will.

redtail said...

Thanks for the input, Anon 7:15

But I'm confused about your remark, because the math seems straightforward.

Campaigning + Voter Registration Activities = STRICTLY PROHIBITED

Either that is not a plainly visible Willard Helander yardsign, or voters are being registered inside a Republican campaign booth.

Maybe someone can help me out?

Anonymous said...

Its no wonder that the the folks at the GOP booth were so thug-like this past weekend. I personally watched them kick two people out of their area. One of their people actually got right up, inches from a guy's face in a very threatening way who wasn't even in their booth. I guess they were just a little nervous. On the other hand, why would they be? The clerk only stops democratic registration drives and the State's Attorney here in Lake County will never, ever prosecute any republican wrongdoing.

Anonymous said...

1. There are no stated exemptions in the statutes for Motor Voter forms with regard to prohibitions on campaigning and voter registration at the same event.

2. The forms distributed by the GOP at the Fair were not from the State and were not Federal Motor Voter forms. I took the time to compare them myself; taking the time to consider substance and the validity of claims is not something the GOP is used to having just retired their Bush rubber stamp.

3. For a Clerk that was SO concerned about improper voter registration last year and the inquiries at the Dem booth by most-likely Republicans about certain NGO's (i.e. from an Oak Tree) at the Fair this year (always polite and compassionate aren't they?), one would think the Clerk would at least be cordial (including her staff) and look like she took complaints seriously.

Given the costs of County government, it'd be nice if it was carried out in a manner consistent with: Equal Justice Under Law instead of the Helander, Waller rules.

Anne T. said...

Who is Willard's boss? Jesse White? Seems to me that somebody higher up than Willard needs to be made aware of these illegal Rethuglian tactics.

Is there an attorney in the house? I'm serious about this.

Anne T. said...

On second thought, maybe Lisa Madigan is the person who should see that photo & the evidence about the forms.

Anonymous said...

Well what can you expect, they are under pressure and the Democrats have eroded the stranglehold they once had on Lake County so they are getting more and more desperate. So they start doing things that are further and further out there.

Anonymous said...

any update...has anyone sent this to the Secretary of State or the AG?

Anonymous said...

Don't hold your breath. The booth was legal and vetted out carefully.

Republicans check out the law and act accordingly. Democrats don't and register goldfish!

redtail said...

Thanks for the input, Anon 9:33

Which County Clerk was incompetent enough to register a goldfish?

Willard Helander?

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:33:
What is your interpretation of the law regarding registering people to vote using a common form (i.e. not a motor voter form, not that there are statutory exemptions) and campaigning in full swing?

As far as Repubs and the law, I think the answer is they check the law and write their own opinions to legitimize wire-tapping (4th Amendment), improper detention, cruel and unusual treatment, and torture for which our One nation under God used to prosecute people for.

If you guys didn't have the unchecked Bush mess the last 8 years, maybe your 'Repubs check the law garbage' would be given the time of day.

However, the rubber-stamp, party of no GOP lost the ability to appear as champions of civil rights, equal justice, etc.

Also, you may want to consider the people speaking up for you. We'll take care of Byrd if you guys take care of David 'John' Vitter, Sessions (the Klan would be ok if they didn't use marijuana), and the other Repubs in office who've had affairs like Dan Burton.
At the least, keep them out of ear-shot of cameras.

OOPS times 2!

Anonymous said...

How is the Lake County Fair a political function. A fund raiser, a campaign speech, town hall etc. is a political function. A fair is a fair.

Anonymous said...

djackson! Don't give the Democrats the correct answer!

Let them stand around and whine in a disorganized fashion!

Anonymous said...

Nice try guys...I can see the mail piece now...

1. The fair was not a political event
2. The sign for registration did not state - "register here to vote - and vote Republican" as you falsely claimed.
3. The motor voter forms are used at Democrat rallies all the time as well as churches in North Chicago and Waukegan (I have photos and video to prove it).
4. Do you really believe ANYONE is stupid enough to believe your rant? The Democrats, ACORN, SEIU, YWCA, Rainbow Push, etc. are the masters at illegally registering people to vote....and the public knows it. In fact, our tax dollars are being used to supplement the continued efforts vis a vis stimulus money to ACORN.

Try again...but thanks for the heads up on yet another fictitious mail piece to hit homes next year. We'll be prepared.

redtail said...

Anon 2:06, please send copies of photos and videos to

They will be posted here.

Anonymous said...

A Fair is not, in and of itself, a political event.

However, a booth where there are signs promoting specific candidates or issue statements encouraging certain stances on positions - this does a polticial booth make.

Hence, the combination of this booth with said signage and the registration of new voters, indeed, run afoul of the law (assuming there are those besides Helander and Waller who would administer their offices without regard to politicial affiliation.

Again, there is no stated exception in the statutes for motor voter forms or for forms that a County Clerk vets or provides special dispensation for to be used at any time to avoid running afoul of the law. Fact!

Geesh. And these are the people that say the government can't figure anything out?!
It is interesting that where the law is actually clear on something, some on the Right feign that they cannot figure it out or that it is vague.

Umm, quit with the Acorn stuff. It didn't work last year and its getting old. Every once in awhile a new tune must be played.
Unless the Acorn references indicate a dry well with regard to good ideas, policies, and contributions to the greater good.

Acorn has nothing on the Committee to Re-elect the President's (Nixon) inter-mingling with public officials, Poindexter (a convicted criminal) and Karl Rove being on W.'s -official- staff (Hatch Act violations - political sabotage being Rove's only area of expertise), and the talking points Ms. Helander used in her alleged outrage-based pressers last year (Helander being a public official).

If any election irregularity is the bane of Ms. Helander's existence, why doesn't she at least make it look like she is equally concerned when perpetrated by those on her side of the aisle?
Or is she now solely dependent on GOP talking points?

Here's a thought: The GOP can come up with decent candidates and policies that more than 5% of the nation can benefit from and they wouldn't have to have such post-election hard feelings and a propensity to plot and scam. (I can explain the definition of propensity to your former President and a few of your previous candidates if you'd like:)