Sangamon Dems call for election apology

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Sangamon County Democrats called on County Clerk Don Gray to apologize for his handling of the March 15th primary election which included ballot shortages at some precincts.

In a statement released Wednesday, Sangamon County Democrats asked Gray to admit failure in handling the election, referring to “unprecedented mismanagement” by Gray. The statement points to a delay in supplying new ballots to precincts that ran out of ballots, a lack of preparation for poll workers to handle same-day voter registration and an inability to contact Gray by phone on Election Day.

“In all my years of politics in Sangamon County, I have never seen an election handled so poorly,” said county Democratic Chairwoman Doris Turner in the statement.

 Gray responded to the Democrats’ call in a Thursday interview, and pointed to both new same-day voter registration and unusually high turnout as reasons for the Election Day problems.

“Clearly, we know there were mistakes and miscalculations,” Gray said. “The enormity of the participation was great and overwhelming … Working on the challenges of same-day voter registration is really what we need to look at.”

Gray said he plans to improve communication for future elections by having one phone system and group of staff to handle questions about same-day registration while having another phone system and staff group to handle more traditional voter questions.

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