A small price to pay for fair elections

October 17, 2013 

In a recent editorial, concern was expressed about perhaps "disenfranchising" innocent people in regard to my lawsuit requesting the federal court's assistance again in purging the voter registration records in accordance with the Illinois Election Code. I would like to share a few tidbits that should outline the very real danger in not purging the voter registration records in East St. Louis because what I know now is that nearly every voter in St. Clair County is being disenfranchised.

After the 1977 election, "as many as 305 illegal votes may have been cast in Precinct 42 out of a total of 405", or more than 75 percent, according to "The Administration of Elections in the City of East St. Louis" (July 1977). A man in Precinct 29 was later indicted for perjury and solicitation of perjury after he tried to get his 17-year-old daughter to vote as a former resident "who had moved to St. Louis in 1976 but whose card was still in the precinct binder."

Even if a person is erroneously removed from the voter registration list he can fill out an affidavit to complete a provisional ballot at the polling place, go to the election board to show proof of his identity and his ballot will be counted like every other legitimate ballot.

If this is the only sacrifice to be made to get fair elections in East St. Louis and St. Clair County, I am 100 percent sure that most honest people would gladly comply.

Matt Hawkins

President, Civic Alliance

East St. Louis

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