clerk advises voters of new undervoting law
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[January 27, 2010]
Logan County Clerk Sally
Litterly wants to inform voters casting ballots at the Feb. 2
primary election that a new law in Illinois now requires that all
Illinois voting systems detect and notify voters if they undervote
on a statewide constitutional office, which only includes governor,
lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state,
comptroller and treasurer.
This law, called the Illinois Undervote Notification Law, was part
of an omnibus election bill passed in 2007 that must be implemented
for the first time at the Feb. 2 election. The new law requires that
if a voter fails to vote for one or more of the statewide
constitutional offices on their ballot, the tabulators must beep to
notify the voters they have undervoted, which will trigger an
election judge in the polling place to assist the voter. The voter
will be given the opportunity to either have the tabulator accept
the ballot so the offices they voted will be counted as they
intended, or return the ballot to the voter to allow them to vote in
the undervoted race(s).
"I am adamantly opposed to this Undervote
Notification Law, and feel it violates the votersí fundamental right
to a secret ballot," Litterly said, "I believe the majority of
voters intend to undervote because they do not wish to vote for a
specific individual or office. In the past, their ballot was
accepted by the voting tabulator with no undervote notification.
Unfortunately, to follow the new law, when voters undervote on a
statewide constitutional office at the February election, our
tabulators must notify the voter this has occurred."
Litterly added, "The issue could also be construed as an equal
protection violation as it treats candidates differently."
Only statewide constitutional officers receive the undervote
[to top of second column]
Litterly assures voters that signage will be placed at their polling
place alerting them to the new law, and their election judges have
been trained to promptly and discreetly assist them should they
undervote at the polls.
She reports that some statewide legislators have also voiced
support to work to repeal the Undervote Notification Law in their
spring 2010 session so that it could be eliminated for future
Voters with questions or concerns about the Undervote
Notification Law should contact their state legislators.
[Text from file received from
Sally J. Litterly,
Logan County clerk]