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Republicans push for Cook vote-counting probe

Saturday, December 30, 2006
Daily Herald
by Joseph Ryan

Republican suburban commissioners on the Cook County Board are putting forward proposals to uncover what caused drastic delays in vote tallying in the Nov. 7 election, even as a report from the county clerk is set to be released early next month.
Failed Cook County Board presidential candidate Tony Peraica, who kept his seat as a Republican commissioner from Riverside, wants a full forensic audit of the $50 million touch-screen voting systems, some of which malfunctioned or were improperly used in the election he lost.
It was days before all the votes were counted in suburban Cook County, delaying Peraica’s concession to Democrat Todd Stroger and prompting his midnight rally on County Clerk David Orr’s office after the election.
Peraica’s proposal will be formally introduced at a committee meeting on Jan. 9 along with a proposal from Commissioner Elizabeth Gorman, an Orland Park Republican. Gorman wants to create a commission on “election integrity” to conduct an inquiry.
Gorman’s proposal said the Nov. 7 election problems have “raised grave concerns among the voters and candidates as to whether these elections were fair and honest.”
At the same meeting, a panel Orr created after the election is set to release its review of the delays in vote tallying and more than 1,500 complaints from voters.
No votes will be taken on Peraica’s or Gorman’s proposals Jan. 9, said Commissioner Larry Suffredin, an Evanston Democrat. He intends to create a subcommittee on elections to handle the issue before the February elections.
“I’m not sure those two proposals are the answer,” he said. “But we are not dealing with all the facts yet.”

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