Someone recently suggested that people vote by mail and then try to vote again on Election Day to prove there can be fraud. Apart from the fact that voter fraud is illegal, the voting systems in both Chicago and Suburban Cook County will prevent people from voting twice.

Having served as election judges in Suburban Cook County, we know that the names of voters who have requested a Vote-by-Mail ballot*, as well those who have voted early at Early Voting sites, are clearly marked as such on the list of voters provided to election judges on Election Day. When a voter checks in with the election judges on Election Day, the election judges will see that the voter is marked as having requested a Vote-by-Mail ballot and inform the voter. 

If the voter says that they have not voted by mail, the voter will be allowed to vote normally at the polling place, but only if the voter is able to give the Vote-by-Mail ballot to the judges.

However, if the voter does not have the Vote-by-Mail ballot to give the election judges, they will allow the voter to utilize a “provisional ballot.” After the voter has marked the provisional ballot, it is not inserted into the scanner, but instead is placed in an envelope with an attached affidavit completed by the voter who signs to swear or affirm that the person has not already voted. That envelope with the affidavit and the provisional ballot is given to the judges, who deliver it separately to the Election Authority after the polls close. 

Only if the Election Authority is able to confirm that no Vote-by-Mail ballot has been counted for that voter will that provisional ballot be counted after Election Day.

*Vote by mail ballots also may be deposited in official drop boxes at early voting sites.

Beverly Graham 

President, League of Women Voters of
Oak Park-River Forest

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