According the the Chicago Republican Party, the city reported thousands more votes cast than voters in the 2016 election, sparking a battle with Chicago officials who call the allegations overblown.
The Chicago GOP filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Chicago Board of Elections in January for a list of voters who had cast ballots in November. According to the party, the board responded with a list of 1,101,178 individuals, though its website reflects 1,115,664 votes cast.
“There should be never be more votes than voters—every ballot cast should be recorded against a registered voter,” Chairman of the Chicago GOP Chris Cleveland told Fox News, explaining that after receiving the data, the party “immediately” contacted the board for “clarification.” “This is either massive fraud or massive incompetence, but we have no way of telling the difference because they won’t give us the data.”
The discrepancy totals more than 14,000, though Cleveland believes it could be as high as 16,000.
Cleveland said he filed a number of FOIA requests—the original in January, and “several follow ups” for updated numbers.
“They ignored them,” Cleveland said. “They have been stonewalling us for six months.”
But spokesman for the Chicago Board of Elections Jim Allen fired back, saying the Chicago GOP’s claims are “patently false” and the data was not complete.
“They’re looking at a preliminary report from January, and just recently, in the last week, they’ve filed a request for an updated report,” Allen said. “They’re looking at incomplete data.”
Allen said the initial data from January “didn’t include” a “post-election review of paper ballot applications.”
“Now that those are entered, the difference is like 30—and that’s the best accountability we’ve ever had,” Allen said. “Their claim is false and ridiculous.”
He explained the city’s electronic poll book system which launched in 2014, and, “We’ve had to go back and go through paper applications every election cycle since then, and the paper applications have filled in the gap every time.”
When asked why the Board has yet to set the record straight and make any public announcement, Allen responded, “Why would we announce? We’re only 30 off. We’ve had our best record ever.”
Allen said that some Chicago voter precincts were “100 percent perfect,” but admitted that others had “poll-worker errors.”
Chicago has a long history of alleged voter fraud dating back to the 1960 Nixon-Kennedy race — though the city maintains the numbers here are not what they seem.
Cleveland explained that based on the data he received, in 15 precincts, there was more than a “100-vote discrepancy.”
“We need to know what the nature of this problem is,” Cleveland said. “People in the precincts just don’t follow the rules, and they add up. That will turn an election very easily.”