Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Andrzejewski Calls on Legislature to Restore Citizens' Right to a Secret Ballot

From the Campaign Office of Adam Andrzejewski for Governor

Elmhurst, ILL., - Adam Andrzejewski, Republican candidate for Governor, is calling on the state legislature to restore Illinois citizens' right to privacy in the voting booth. In late 2007, the Illinois General Assembly passed an update to the election law that effectively undermines the Illinois citizens' right to a secret ballot.

"It's another classic Illinois political trick," Andrzejewski said. "Pass a law that appears to be an improvement on the surface, while operating to undermine rights in its application."

These changes in the law undermine the protections that insure the "secrecy of voting" under the Illinois Constitution, and they will be in place in the February Primary. On December 15, 2009, while defending a court challenge to the flawed legislation, the Illinois Attorney General argued "while plaintiff attempts to suggest to the Court that there is a fundamental right to a secret ballot, no such right exists."

"Here is how it works," explained Andrzejewski. "The law and supporting regulation purport to defend the secret ballot. In practice, however, the voter's privacy is undermined. You can vote in secret, but that secrecy is cancelled out the moment the voting machine informs the election judge that the citizen did not to vote in one of the constitutional races."

"This is an easy issue to explain," said Andrzejewski. "If a voter didn't vote in every race, for whatever reason, their ballot will trigger an alarm, which creates a process where an election judge becomes unnecessarily involved in voting. Illinois citizens' constitutional rights to a secret ballot are undermined."

"When the Legislature enacts, the Board of Elections implements, and Attorney General Lisa Madigan defends unconstitutional laws (SB 662 in 2007)—a law that undermines Illinois citizens' rights to vote in secret—it is time for all citizens to take notice."

"I believe the privacy of voting is more important than schemes to increase votes for incumbents. As governor, I will fight to defend the Illinois Constitution, including the right to privacy in the voting booth," said Andrzejewski. "I will use my powers to defend the citizens by exposing the schemes that undermine our rights."

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