Dan Tokaji's Blog
Professor Dan Tokaji
Election reform, the Voting Rights Act, the Help America Vote Act, and related topics -- with special attention to the voting rights of people of color, non-English proficient citizens, and people with disabilities

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Equal Vote
Friday, December 10
Provisional Voting in Illinois
Wide disparities in the percentage of provisional ballots counted occurred in Illinois, according to this Chicago Tribune report. As an example, the Tribune notes that only 26% of provisionals were counted in DuPage County, compared to 61% in Chicago.

Such disparities reflect the lack of any uniform standards across the state for determining which provisionals should count. Some counties followed advice from the State Board of Elections on which provisional ballots should count, while others didn't. It's not clear which jurisdictions counted provisional ballots cast in the wrong precinct, but it appears that some -- but not all -- did so. The pronounced increase in the percentage of provisional ballots counted in Chicago appears to result in large part from that jurisdiction's decision to count those ballots. In fact, the Tribune reports that the "vast majority" of provisionals counted in Chicago were cast out of precinct.

My take: Clearly, there needs to be some statewide uniformity. Otherwise, the state is just begging to be held in violation of the Equal Protection Clause under the rationale of Bush v. Gore.

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