First lady Michelle Obama came in to rally the home-town troops and raise some cash Wednesday for Democrats running for Senate and Congress here.While she was rallying the troops, Illinois military members won't be getting to vote early. In fact they likely won't get to vote at all.
She also made a plug for early voting, announcing she herself plans to early-vote Thursday morning before she heads off to Denver to campaign for more Democrats.
“I am thrilled to be back home in my home town, Chicago,” Obama told 200 donors at the University Club. “I get to sleep in my own bed tonight.”
This is Obama’s third trip home since becoming first lady. And it is her first deployment as a popular secret weapon to help elect Democrats.
“This is my first day out on the campaign trail,” she said. “This is not something I do very often. In fact, I really haven’t been on the campaign trail since a little a campaign you might remember a couple years ago.”
The U.S. Justice Department is investigating whether the state of Illinois missed the deadline for mailing absentee ballots to members of the military and other overseas American voters as part of a new federal overseas voting law.They join New York's military members who are being denied the right to vote. Safe to say if the military typically voted Democrat they'd be afforded the opportunity to vote, likely more than once.
Cris Cray, Director of Legislation at the Illinois State Board of Elections, says not all of Illinois' 110 jurisdictions were compliant with the 2009 Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act (MOVE).
The law requires every state to mail their absentee ballots 45 days prior to Election Day to overseas troops, government employees and other Americans who want to vote from abroad.
Cray says she is currently compiling data from each of Illinois' jurisdictions to determine which were compliant and which were delinquent. Cray said it's possible the ballots may not be counted because the state was tardy in sending them out.
Illinois was required to have all of its absentee ballots mailed by Sept. 18, the national deadline. Election officials have until Nov. 15 to count the absentee ballots, which must be postmarked by midnight Nov. 1 to be eligible.
In an e-mail response, Justice Department spokeswoman Xochil Hinojosa confirmed that Illinois is being investigated for the absentee ballot infraction.
By the way, for all of Mrs. Obama's campaign trips, has any reporter bothered to ask who's paying the tab for her to fly all over the country on behalf of endangered Democrats?