Claims from Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump that voting is rigged to help Democratic rival Hillary Clinton on Nov. 8 have served to dredge up Chicago’s controversial history of vote stuffing, ballot boxes floating in the river and dead people voting. But state and city elections officials contend the massive voting fraud of the past is history, citing new technology and changes in voting laws have made the potential for fraud a fraction of what existed in the past. They say the concern now is voter intimidation techniques. “We don’t claim perfection. We know we’re trying to live down the history of this agency from our parents’ and our grandparents’ generations,” said Jim Allen, spokesman for the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners. … “To give some context, in the last 10 years we’ve had 10 referrals of suspicious activity to the state’s attorney’s office and at the same time we’ve had 9 million ballots cast,” Allen said. One referral led to the convictions of two men on misdemeanor charges of manipulating absentee ballots in a 50th Ward aldermanic contest in 2007.
Allen said the city board’s use of electronic poll books at polling places blocks “the prospect of double voting,” and the electronic connections between early voting sites make it “impossible” to vote more than once.
In addition, Allen cites the work of the Illinois voter registration system and database with the State Board of Elections that tracks each of the state’s 109 election authorities seeking duplicate registrations and checking on death records.
“The assumption that just because there may be some outdated voter records on the rolls is immediately followed by voter impersonation fraud — there’s no evidence of it happening in the United States on any kind of significant measure,” Allen said.