Our consolidated November/December social event, the annual holiday party, is this Friday, December 5, from 5:30 – 7:30 at the home of Claudia and David Gross, 1009 Galen Drive, Champaign. Celebrate the holidays with fellow Democratic activists, candidates and officials. It is a great way to introduce new Democrats in Champaign County to the local party. We provide the drinks and some food; you bring your friends, perhaps a dish to pass, and a suggested donation of $8. Join us!
You are cordially invited to attend the Champaign County Democrats Dinner.
WHERE: Laborers’ Hall, 108 E Anthony Drive, Urbana IL (
WHEN: Sunday, October 5, 2014 (5:00 pm cocktails & reception / 6:00 pm buffet dinner & program).
Featuring State Wide & Local Candidates • Delicious Three Entree Buffet • 50/50 Raffle (you keep your share of the proceeds) • Silent Auction
Click this link Fall 2014 CCD Dinner Information for full details, download and print the form, fill it out and mail it to Champaign County Democrats, PO Box 1455, Champaign IL 61824.
As early voting gets underway, this event kicks off our GOTV effort. We hope to see you there!
Now is the time to demonstrate our united support for the strong ticket which can and will win in November. On June 1, candidates and activists will come together at the Laborers’ Hall in Urbana, Illinois for the spring dinner of the Champaign County Democratic Party. Confirmed speakers at this point include Lieutenant Governor Candidate
Other prominent candidates and potential speakers include U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, Governor Pat Quinn, Secretary of State Jesse White, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, and Comptroller Candidate Sheila Simon. Watch this site for the latest information as it becomes available.
As always, proceeds from this event will be used for our local operating expenses and for GOTV efforts which benefit all candidates. This dinner is an opportunity for unions, progressive groups, and all local Democrats to exchange views with our candidates as they begin their general election campaigns.
Use this Dinner Order Form for complete information. Act now to reserve your seat ad dinner and receive the pre-payment discount.
By April 1, 2014, the Champaign County Clerk had determined that
The question today for the Board and the public is: Are the results from Champaign County “100 percent accurate”? Unfortunately, they are not.
To confirm this statement, first be assured that when a voting machine accepts a ballot on election day, that machine must account for every vote in every contest on that ballot. It records valid votes, an over-vote (too many ovals filled), or under-votes (ovals left blank) for each race. Even if a contest has no candidate, it is not ignored. Instead, that uncontested race generates one under-vote. The formula is always: Processed votes = (votes + over-votes + under-votes). Also, the precinct total of ballots processed for any contest in the Democratic Primary can never exceed the total number of Democratic ballots cast in that precinct (shown at the top of each precinct report). Of course, the same is true for the Republican Primary. With this in mind, here are several anomalies apparent in the official precinct reports from the website of the Champaign County Clerk (links provided).
A bizarre situation exists in
Remarkably, these anomalies exist in the Republican Primary reports as well, contrary to the Clerk’s assurances that only the Democratic ballots were miscounted on election day.
Finally, there is a special issue on the Republican Primary ballot which should be addressed promptly. The Honorable Lisa Holder White (Republican, Macon County) sought the nomination of her party for a 10 year term on the Fourth District Appellate Court. She was unopposed in the primary. However, the
It must be understood that all these examples are discrepancies, not facts. This means, for example, that no one claims that forty-four wraiths rose from the fields of northeast Urbana to vote at the Civic Center. However, they do serve as contradictions, which are routinely used in logic and mathematics to expose and disprove faulty assumptions. In this case, the faulty assumption is that the revised, official results for either party’s Primary Election in Champaign County is “100 percent accurate”.
The State Board of Elections should refrain from certifying the flawed results from Champaign County and including them in district totals until the county’s ballot processing issues have been identified and resolved.
Two questions frequently asked about Incorrect Election Results Trigger County Wide Recount:
HOW ARE VOTES COUNTED ON ELECTION DAY?
All votes in Champaign County are recorded on paper ballots, which are machine scanned and tabulated. Each tabulating machine accounts for every ballot processed, reports results for each precinct assigned to it, and records for all contests in that precinct the valid votes counted, the invalid over-votes rejected, and any blank (under-votes) ignored for that contest. This information is recorded on the same sealed computer memory device which contains information required by the tabulator, especially the electronic descriptions of the various ballot styles assigned to that machine. After the polls close, the machine prints paper reports immediately for retention by the judges of election and any authorized poll-watchers. The judges of election (who are appointed by the Chairs of the two leading established parties) then remove the memory device and paper ballots, seal them in the presence of the poll-watchers, and immediately transport them to the Election Authority (in Champaign County, that is the County Clerk). There, under the supervision of the Authority, teams of election judges and workers from both parties receive, process, and store the election materials. The memory devices are read by a computer which uses software certified by the State Board of Elections to aggregate the data and produce the unofficial election results released on election night. The memory devices and paper ballots are sealed and secured to await any post-processing required. This includes machine re-tabulations and manual ballot counts on machines randomly selected by the State Board of Elections.
WHAT HAPPENED IN MARCH 2014?
The basic procedures above worked well in Champaign County throughout the era of punch cards (“chad” to the contrary notwithstanding), and, until now, were remarkably efficient with the current generation scanner technology. On March 18, 2014, the process was completed around 10pm, and the unofficial results produced at that time seemed plausible to everyone at the processing center. Of course, attention was focused on the critical races on both partisan ballots. It was morning before the irregularities in minor contests were identified. Then followed the events described in our post, which were widely reported in the press.
On Monday, March 24, the Clerk determined that the issues were isolated to the bottom of the Democratic Primary Ballot, and that by re-programming the tabulators with ballot definitions properly synchronized with the paper ballots, then re-processing all the Democratic Primary ballots, all symptoms would disappear. After the recount, updated unofficial results were posted, and he reassured voters that “we just went through a monumental effort to reissue these to make sure they’re 100 percent accurate”, and that new procedures would preclude these issues from recurring in the future. On April 1, the outstanding absentee and provisional ballots were absorbed, and the official results were proclaimed by posting them to the
The state mandated retabulation of results from the March 18, 2014, General Primary Election will occur Tuesday, March 25, 2014, at 9:00 AM in the Champaign County Election Supply Building, 202 South Art Bartell Road, Urbana, Illinois. The retabulation will be open to candidates, the press, representatives of political parties, and the public.
In past years this process has found no serious issues, but this will not be the case tomorrow. Examination of the Unofficial Results reported on Election Night revealed implausible results for five positions on Democratic ballots: State Central Committeeman (13th & 15th Congressional Districts), State Central Committeewoman (same districts), and Precinct Committeeperson (all precincts). It is now acknowledged that these implausible results are indeed incorrect. The errors were not detected during the routine tabulation process on election night. They will not be detected tomorrow during the initial phase of the retabulation procedure. Only when we attempt to reconcile the reported results with the actual paper ballots from selected precincts (see below) will we “discover” the discrepancies. The fault is so pervasive that it affects election results throughout Champaign County.
The County Clerk explains that the errors are the result of a synchronization failure between the layout of the paper ballots and their electronic counterparts in the tabulators. This caused the tabulators to associate some votes/undervotes with the wrong candidates/races in many precincts. This was not the fault of the voters, the election judges, the tabulating equipment, or the state-certified software which aggregates and reports the votes. The invalid results are entirely due to the failure of Champaign County Clerk Gordy Hulten to properly synchronize the paper ballots with their tabulator ballot descriptions.
To correct these unofficial results before they are certified, the Clerk proposes to correctly synchronize every tabulator with the ballots it processed, and then use those machines to recount all Democratic Ballots in Champaign County. I concur with this procedure. He has also agreed to employ a more comprehensive system pre-test for the November, 2014 election. That test, used in the past but discontinued as a cost-saving measure, would have detected this fault before election day.
This unprecedented county-wide retabulation will commence tomorrow afternoon at the Election Supply Building, and will continue from 8 – 11:30 AM and 12:30 – 4:30 PM each workday until the job is completed. I or my representative will be present with our election judges, and I invite any interested Democrat in Champaign County to drop by and observe the procedure. We will proceed in alphabetical township-precinct order, and I would expect “City of Champaign Township” and perhaps “Cunningham Township” (City of Urbana) to be reached sometime Wednesday.
For those who wish to attend tomorrow’s official re-tabulation, the precincts and machines randomly selected by the Illinois State Board of Elections are: Champaign 5, City of Champaign 19, City of Champaign 29, Kerr, Ludlow 1, Rantoul 6, and Voting Machine #1 at the Brookens Early Voting Center. Use East Main Street to Art Bartell Road, turn South, park behind the METCAD building, enter the Election Supply Building from the north door.
The Champaign County Democrats intend to slate a candidate for County Clerk in May for the November general election. If you wish to be considered, or if you know someone who should be considered, contact me or any local Democratic official, or write Info@ChampaignCountyDemocrats.org.
Alvin G Klein
Here are links to videos of forums featuring all contested Democratic races in the March 18, 2014 primary election in Champaign County. Each candidate name is linked to a resource for campaign information.
VOTING IS UNDERWAY – MAKE YOUR DECISIONS AND VOTE TODAY! Follow this
*Note that the two candidates in BOLDFACE have been ENDORSED (read why) by the Champaign County Democrats.
District 6: Tony Fabri,
These candidate forums were sponsored in February, 2014 by the Champaign County League of Women Voters, the NAACP, and the News-Gazette. They were recorded at the Champaign City Council chambers, and are broadcast on local cable television. The Champaign County Democrats thank these organizations for producing these events.
The Champaign County Democratic Party has endorsed
Party endorsements in primary elections, while routine in much of Illinois, are rare in Champaign County. Discussion of the motion focused on two reasons for the committee to break precedent and endorse these two candidates at this time:
First, this action supports the Champaign County voters who have elected Democratic majorities on the County Board every two years for more than a decade. The incumbents in Districts 7 and 9 engaged in a back-room leadership deal with the Republicans in 2012. Their arrangement certainly suited the individuals involved, but it betrayed the trust of the voters who elected them and their Democratic colleagues elsewhere in the county. The County Democratic Party has a duty to support all Democratic voters and to deter such self-serving maneuvers in the future. We are confident that Mr. Weibel and Ms. Harrison will work with Republican board members to support the best interests of all Champaign County residents, regardless of party affiliation. We are confident also that if the voters choose to elect a Democratic County Board majority, Mr. Weibel and Ms. Harrison will respect that choice, and will work with the Democratic caucus to organize the the board and set its agenda.
Second, we believe Mr. Weibel and Ms. Harrison are progressive Democrats who will more effectively represent their districts. Pius Weibel is an experienced board member with a solid (and bipartisan) record of leadership. Shana Harrison, former President of the UIUC Illini Democrats, works with Champaign County organized labor and understands well the largely young and diverse residents of District 9.
The Party’s by-laws have allowed us to endorse candidates in primary elections since 2006. However, local Democrats have refrained from doing so until now. Many if not most of us prefer that the Party and its Chair never get involved in any primaries, and this is a first for us. Our unanimous decision signifies that we believe the stakes are just too high for us to sit quietly on the sidelines for these two races in this election.
Alvin G. Klein
Chair, Champaign County Democrats
Join us Sunday, October 20, 2013, at our Fall Dinner at the Laborers’ Local 703 Hall,
The focus of the evening will be meeting and hearing from Democrats circulating petitions for nomination as our candidates for state and federal offices in 2014. Senator
Retiring State Representative (103rd)
Three candidates seeking to be the next representative from the 103rd District will speak to us Sunday:
Individual Dinner tickets at the door are $65, but PAY NOW AND SAVE $5! Use the Fall 2013 Order Form (pdf) to purchase tickets, sponsorships, or advertisements.
Questions? email: Dinner@ChampaignCountyDemocrats.org.
Join us from 3pm – 6pm Sunday at our annual late summer event celebrating volunteers, candidates, and supporters of the county party. A donation of $10 is suggested. We provide the beverages, and the Lloyd Carter family will prepare the BBQ. Additional food you bring to share is welcome. Use the Race Street entrance to the Garden Pavilion at