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Absentee Ballot Requests Spent 3 Weeks in Post Office Box

Rock Island County's absentee ballot application
Michelle O'Neill
Rock Island County's absentee ballot application

State and federal authorities are trying to find out why 1,500 absentee ballot applications were left in a Rock Island post office box for three weeks. Michelle O'Neill reports.Radio storyRock Island County Clerk, Karen Kinney, says one of the first tips about a potential problem with absentee ballot applications came from her own mother. Voters also started to call her office asking, "Where's my ballot?" Kinney called the sheriff, state's attorney, and the Illinois Attorney General for help. She learned that a Dekalb woman from the Illinois Opportunity Project rented the Post Office box. The project is a Chicago-based non-profit, co-founded by Dan Proft who's a radio host and former republican candidate for governor.

It's legal for groups to mail absentee ballot applications to voters. Last week, a Milan man named Evan Umphrey delivered stacks of completed applications to the Rock Island County Clerk's offices.

Anyone who requested an absentee ballot but hasn't received one should call her office so her staff can mail it as soon as possible. The clerk's office must receive absentee ballot applications by Thursday night at seven. Otherwise, voters will have to voter early or on election day.

Copyright 2021 WVIK, Quad Cities NPR. To see more, visit WVIK, Quad Cities NPR.

Officially, Michelle's title is WVIK News Editor which really just means she wears many hats, doing everything there is to do in the newsroom and around the radio station. She's a multimedia journalist and serves as Assignment Editor, reporter, radio news producer, copy editor, announcer, news anchor/host, and photographer. She also writes and produces content for WVIK.org and social media.In recent broadcast journalism contests, Michelle's work contributed to WVIK winning various awards for excellence in both Illinois and Iowa. Tweets by MichelleONeilll