Federal lawsuit filed against Illinois to stop counting ballots received after Election Day

Judicial Watch argues that Illinois’ election law violates federal law, which defines Election Day as “the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November in every even-numbered year.” Image for illustrative purposes
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Judicial monitoring

Washington D.C.- Judicial Watch today announced it has filed a federal lawsuit against Illinois on behalf of Congressman Mike Bost and two other registered Illinois voters to stop state election officials from extending Election Day from 14 days beyond the date established by federal law (Representative Michael J. Bost, Laura Pollastrini, and Susan Sweeney v. Illinois State Board of Elections and Bernadette Matthews (#1:22-cv-02754)).

Judicial Watch argues that Illinois’ election law violates federal law, which defines Election Day as “the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November in every even-numbered year.” The complaint states:

Despite Congress’ clear declaration of a single national election day, Illinois extended Election Day by extending the date for receiving and counting mail-in ballots by 14 days.

Judicial Watch points out that current Illinois election law allows absentee ballots received up to 14 days “after the close of the polls on Election Day” to be counted as if they had been cast and received on or before election day. Illinois law also provides that “[e]Even unpostmarked absentee ballots will be counted if received up to 14 calendar days after Election Day if the ballots are dated on or before Election Day.

The Judicial Watch lawsuit notes:

The Council…advised that the number of ballots received after Election Day through November 17, 2020 could materially impact unofficial election results.


[Illinois’ own data indicates that] Illinois received 266,417 absentee ballots statewide during the Nov. 3-17 period.

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[M]Most of the 266,417 mail-in ballots were received after Election Day, meaning up to 4.4% of votes cast in 2020 were received after Election Day. [Emphasis in original]

Judicial Watch argues that holding open voting for 14 days after Election Day violates the constitutional rights of voters and candidates:

By counting ill-timed and illegal ballots received after Election Day and by diluting the ballots cast and timely received by Plaintiffs, Defendants, acting under the guise of Illinois law, deprived and deprive the plaintiffs of the rights protected by the First Amendment and the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution in violation of 42 USC § 1983.

“We’re supposed to have election day, not election weeks – or months. Extending Election Day in Illinois by 14 days beyond the date set by Congress is illegal, violates voters’ civil rights, and encourages fraud,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

In a separate Judicial Watch election lawsuit against Illinois, a federal court ruled in June 2021 that the lawsuit could be filed against Illinois officials for denying public access to the Illinois voter registration database.

In February 2022, Judicial Watch colonized his lawsuit against North Carolina and two of its counties after North Carolina removed more than 430,000 ineligible names from voter rolls.

In March 2022, a court in Maryland ruled in favor of Judicial Watch’s challenge to the “extreme” Gerrymander Maryland Democratic Legislature to redistrict Congress.

For more than 25 years, Judicial Watch has been known for its aggressive and forward-thinking use of public records law and prosecution, as well as taxpayer protection, civil rights and whistleblower litigation. to fight government corruption. Judicial Watch is a national leader in voting integrity and the right to vote. As part of this effort, Judicial Watch assembled a team of highly experienced suffrage attorneys who ended discriminatory elections in Hawaii and cleaned up voter rolls in California, Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky, among other places. . other accomplishments.

Christine Svenson, Esq., of Svenson Law Offices in Palatine, Illinois, is assisting Judicial Watch with the trial.

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