Chicago Inmates Say Guards Pressing Them To Illegally Vote In Mayor Race

The allegation are coming from the jail in Cook County, which includes Chicago, where voters go the polls Tuesday to decide whether to elect embattled Democrat Mayor Laurie Lightfoot to a second term.

  • The guards allege they’re getting their order to pressure inmates to vote for Lightfoot from higher up and “doing what they’re told.”
  • The allegation has raised concerns about “ballot harvesting, ” or ballot collecting – the practice in which political operatives collect absentee or mail-in ballots from voters, then drop them off at a polling place or election.
  • While not illegal in some place in the U.S., the practice is effective in gathering a large number of votes for campaign or candidates who participate.
  • Critics say jail is the ideal place to ballot harvest and have concerns it will propel Lightfoot to victory, as she enters the race amid uncertainty she’ll even get enough votes to advance to a two-person runoff in April.