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Democrats decry sample ballot mistakes
The Naperville Sun. October 21, 2004. By Katie Foutz, staff writer

A sample DuPage County ballot printed in 43 area newspapers Wednesday misplaced a Democratic candidate and instructed voters to choose two candidates where only one will be elected.

A corrected notice will be published beginning Friday, said Robert Saar, Election Commission executive director. He said he doesn't know what caused the errors but is talking with printers and staff members to find out.

The legal notice put Democratic congressional candidate Christine Cegelis in the wrong race and listed U.S. Rep Henry Hyde as running unopposed. Cegelis is challenging Hyde for the 6th Congressional District seat, which represents parts of northern and central DuPage County and northwestern Cook County.

She was listed as a candidate in the 41st District Illinois Senate race, where Christine Radogno, R-La Grange, is running unopposed for re-election. Radogno was left completely off the sample ballot.

Cegelis said this could cost her the election and questioned the integrity of the DuPage County Election Commission.

"This was not an honest mistake," Cegelis, a Rolling Meadows resident, said in a statement.

On the notice's table of contents page, voters are also instructed that two candidates will be elected in each of the DuPage County Board and Forest Preserve District races. Yet voters can only pick one.

DuPage County Democratic Party Chairwoman Gayl Ferraro called the mistakes "a blatant and coordinated effort by DuPage County Republican officials to turn the election in their favor." She threatened to sue the Election Commission if the errors are not corrected to her party's satisfaction.

Saar said it's a heated political season.

"I can understand why they're upset, but with that said, this office has a long tradition of working very closely with both political parties," he said. "The door is open here to all parties."

Saar said the errors do not affect any ballots, tabulation programs, canvas reports or any other Election Commission publications, including the department's Web site. He stands by his 23-year track record at the county, where he's been through more than 100 discovery recounts.

"There have not been dissatisfied customers that scrutinized this office that have found anything in the polling places, tabulations or ballots that would point to anything but fair and accurate and clean elections," Saar said.

The original notice ran Wednesday in Sun Publications' free Extra edition and is slated to run Friday in The Naperville Sun and The Lisle Sun. The corrected notice is scheduled to run Oct. 27 and 29.

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