Some Park Forest voters cast two ballots for prez, officials say it’ll get fixed
By Phil Kadner email@example.com November 6, 2012 3:40PM
Updated: November 7, 2012 12:14AM
Some people in Park Forest voted twice in Tuesday’s presidential election, but Cook County election officials say the error will be corrected.
Susan Wakeford of Park Forest said she was handed two voting cards for the electronic touch screen machine at her polling place in the Blackhawk Intermediate School. When she questioned the practice, Wakeford said she was told, “This is the way it’s supposed to be done.”
When she inserted the first card, Wakeford said, a ballot appeared with only the presidential contestants listed. After she was finished voting with that card, she inserted the second card in the machine and a ballot with the presidential race and all the other election contests in Cook County appeared.
“I protested again and was told very sternly this is the way it is being done this year and that my presidential vote wouldn’t be counted twice because at the end of the day they divide the number of votes by two to get the result.
“I wasn’t the only one who questioned the process. Several voters did and they were all told the same thing. This is the way it is being done.”
Cook County election officials say the incident happened early on Tuesday, but was corrected before many people voted.
“Apparently, what happened is that some election judge was confused because people voting by paper ballot did get two different paper ballots, due to the judicial retention races,” said Courtney Greve, spokeswoman for Cook County Clerk David Orr..
“An election judge apparently misunderstood the instructions and handed out two voting cards to people using the touch screens, one with a presidential-only ballot that is used for people who have recently moved,” Greve said. “The other voter card was for the full ballot, including the presidential election.”
Greve said the presidential-only ballots are easily nullified, negating the two votes cast by those who were handed two voting cards.
“We believe this was only one election official who became confused by the directions,” Greve said.
Election officials do divide the number of paper ballots by two at the end of the day to determine the number of votes actually cast, Greve said.
Nevertheless, a spokeswoman for the Illinois attorney general’s office said a team of lawyers had been dispatched to the Park Forest polling place to investigate the incident.