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October 30, 2008

ATTORNEY GENERAL MADIGAN ASSIGNS TEAMS TO MONITOR NOVEMBER 4 GENERAL ELECTION

Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced that 166 teams of Assistant Attorneys General and investigators from her staff will be working throughout the state on Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008, to monitor the general election to ensure polling places are accessible and that Illinoisans' voting rights are protected.

Madigan has assigned 125 teams throughout Chicago and northern Illinois and 41 teams to monitor downstate polling sites. Madigan said the teams will observe activity in and around polling places and investigate claims of voter fraud or voting irregularities.

Madigan urges voters to call her office if they encounter suspected improper or illegal activity. Chicago and northern Illinois voters can call 1-866-536-3496 (TTY 1-800-964-3013). Downstate voters can contact Madigan's office by calling 1-866-559-6812 (TTY 1-877-844-5461).

Madigan reminded voters of some of their basic voting rights:

  • Voters have the right to vote if they are in line when the polls close at 7 p.m., or at any other time between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Election Day (10 ILCS 5/17-1).

  • If a voter makes a mistake or "spoils" a paper ballot and the voter has not cast the ballot, the voter has the right to receive a replacement ballot (10 ILCS 5/17-11).

  • If a voter cannot read, has trouble understanding English, or is disabled, he or she has the right to request assistance from anyone other than his or her employer, an agent of his or her employer, or an officer or agent of his or her union (10 ILCS 5/17-14).

  • Voters have the right to take unpaid time from work to vote, but no more than two successive hours, as long as they have applied with their employer before Election Day. The employer may set the time of day (10 ILCS 5/17-15).

  • No one is allowed to try to influence a voter within 100 feet of the polling place (10 ILCS 5/17-29).

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