Absentee ballots can only be requested at authorized distributors. (photo by Aaron Tait/flickr)
By Zach Dietmeier
BLOOMINGTON - The McLean County Clerk's office and the Bloomington Election Commission are working to find who or what is causing confusion over absentee ballot requests. Both offices have received calls from community members who say they've been contacted about sending out absentee ballots.
County Clerk Kathy Michael says the concern over a pattern forming tells her all voters should be aware of how they can accept a ballot.
"We're concerned about this, but we're trying to find out does the message say your absentee ballot is on the way or does it say your application for an absentee ballot is on the way? Because that is perfectly legal," said Michael. "The only absentee ballots you can get are from the election authorities."
Michael says the only authorized organizations who can give you an absentee ballot are the McLean County Clerk's office or the Bloomington Election Commission.
Commission Executive Director Paul Shannon says they still aren't sure where the problem is occuring.
"It could be confusion since anyone can issue an absentee ballot request form, or it could be a way of trying to get absentee ballots out by trying to promise a ballot by sending a request," said Shannon. "We don't know what's going on."
Michael says another problem is that the confusion is showing no consistency right now.
"One caller said it was from the Democrat Party, and another caller said it was from the Republican Party," said Michael. "We have no verification of who it is for sure, or if it's random enthusiam from a volunteer who has their verbiage wrong."
Shannon encourages Bloomington voters to call the Bloomington Election Commission if you receive such a call or mailing. Elsewhere, if you do get any calls or mailings, you are asked to save the information and turn it in to the McLean County State's Attorney's office or the McLean County Clerk.
Zach can be reached at Zach.Dietmeier@Cumulus.com.