Republican Joe Walsh (or Congressman-elect Joe Walsh, as his staff now call him) continues to lead Mellisa Bean in suburban Chicago’s 8th Congressional District. By his lead has shrank from 750 on Election night to approximately 300 votes today. The margin was shaved in part to 6 Cook County precincts that did not return ballots on Election night. The ballots, from Hanover, Palatine, and Schaumburg somehow ended up in Cicero, and from there they floated around until they reached the Cook County Election board around 10:00 AM the next morning.
More from Jim Geraghty at National Review:
“We are in the fight of our lives as we count ballots in Cook County,” says Nick Provenzano, the campaign manager for Walsh who is now signing his messages, “Spokesman for Congressman-elect Joe Walsh, Illinois’ 8th District.” Provenzano offers a description of an exceptionally odd ballot-counting process: “On Election Night, there were six precincts that were still not counted at 1 a.m. We discovered that they had problems in the polling place and were moved to nearby Elgin, Illinois to count the ballots. At some point in the middle of the night all six precincts — representing thousands of votes — had been moved to Cicero, Illinois for “safe keeping”
This reminds me of the “safe-keeping” of ballots in Minnesota during the Coleman-Franken recount. National Review continues to detail other irregularities:
“Identifying potential mischief, the Illinois GOP dispatched volunteers to track down these voters to ensure no foul play was occurring with these outstanding ballots,” Provenzano continues. “What they found was alarming. They documented their findings on affidavits and they were submitted to law enforcement for review.” The affidavits describe one voter who had not lived at the listed address in the past 15 years; a voter who a caregiver said “could not respond to questions because of dementia,” and a group of ballots sent to a Clearbrook home for the mentally disabled in Rolling Meadows, Illinois.
This all sounds eerily familiar to the antics in Coleman-Franken, but Walsh, a surprise winner on Election night, appears to be aggressively pursuing the investigation of irregularities. Sources tell us he has retained the services of the power house Chicago law firm Mayer-Brown. So while he is in the fight of his life, he appears ready for it
UPDATE: Here are the affidavits mentioned:
Cross posted at Election Journal