St. Clair County announces plan to combat voter fraud and voter suppression

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ST. CLAIR COUNTY, IL (KPLR) – Donald Trump's repeated charges of a "rigged election" ring hollow in the St. Louis area.

Authorities in Belleville have just announced a plan to combat voter fraud and voter suppression.

They do expect to turn up handful of cases but not evidence of a rigged system.

With "early voting", polls have been open in St. Clair County for almost 20 days with about 9,000 votes cast.

As of Tuesday, there had been no cases of fraud reported.

“No, nothing’s rigged here,” said St. Clair County Clerk, Thomas Holbrook.

Holbrook, State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly, and Sheriff Rick Watson have joined with federal authorities in setting up a voter integrity “hotline” for people to report voting irregularities.  Poll watchers supporting candidates from both parties in multiple races are already staffing the early voting sites.

The sheriff has assigned deputies to investigate complaints.

The state’s attorney is prosecuting cases from past elections.

“In the primary we had a couple of folks that tried to vote in the republican primary and then they also tried to vote in the democratic primary,” Kelly said.  “That’s simply not allowed.  You can’t do both.  Everybody knows you can’t vote twice.”

“We purged our rolls.  I’ve only been in a little more than three years and out of 170,000 voters we have changed addresses, cancelled, suspended, and added almost 130,000,” Holbrook said.  “Massive, systemic, fraud – it just doesn’t exist.”

With a new, court-mandated, same-day registration at the polls, the biggest concern was long lines on election day.

“It can’t be avoided.  It’s a situation that’s not going to be pleasant for people.  Please, vote early,” Holbrook said.

Any voter or poll watcher can report irregularities by calling: (618) 825-2366

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