With a week to go until Election Day, some voters continue to worry about the integrity of the election process. Specifically, in St. Clair County, Illinois.
Early voting has been underway for about a week in Illinois, and a St. Clair County resident, who wanted to remain anonymous, tells NewsChannel 5 people are having trouble with electronic machines switching their votes. But our Verify Team found bi-partisan confidence that there is a reasonable explanation for any issues.
In most cases it's user error, say both the Democrat County Clerk Tom Holbrook and Doug Jameson, the Republican Party chairman for the county.
Of the more than 11,000 people who have already voted in person, they say only a handful have come forward with problems and in most cases some on-the-spot explanations of how to use the voting machines resolved the issues.
“There were only two cases were people felt there was still something wrong,” says Holbrook. ”Those are the machines we took out and tested them and there was nothing wrong with them.”
“I think it's very transparent,” says Jameson who also serves as an election judge. “In many cases the county clerk's office has gone above and beyond in order accommodate requests and circumstances.”
St. Clair County also has a "voter integrity hotline." All concerns either called in to (618) 825-2366 or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org are automatically forwarded to several local, state and federal agencies and investigated says state’s attorney Brendan Kelly.
“We look for both voter suppression and voter fraud,” says Kelly.
The state's attorney also says he is currently investigating one individual and isolated case of possible voter fraud, but says he has not seen any wide spread problems and won’t elaborate on the single case before the election.
The county clerk says his biggest concern is long lines on election day. He's encouraging people to take advantage of early voting at one of three locations. Any eligible St. Clair County voter who resides outside the East St. Louis Election Authority can use any one of the three locations:
St. Clair County Clerk’s Office, Election Department, 2nd Floor, 10 Public Square, Belleville
Caseyville Township Office, 10001 Bunkum Rd., Fairview Heights
O’Fallon Township Office, 801 East State St., O’Fallon
Holbrook says the primary election this past year say the highest voter turnout in the county in decades and he expects the same on November 8th. He hopes more people will vote early to avoid the anticipated lines on Election Day.