Illinois Champaign County Ballot Mishandling Challenge
McGuire v. Ammons
Lawsuit filed by the chairman of the Champaign Republican Party and candidate for the Champaign County Board, Jim McGuire, against two Champaign County clerks alleging that one of them, who serves as the deputy county clerk, was in possession of multiple unsealed ballots in her car. The plaintiff bases his allegations on “photographic evidence” indicating that “Michelle Jett, a Deputy County Clerk, was in possession, in her car, of unsealed official ballots in a non-specific number, but multiple, for, at least, precinct Champaign 38.” The plaintiff argues that this alleged “transportation of unsealed official Ballots” violates Illinois law and “presents an imminent threat and risk to election integrity.” The plaintiff asks the court to prohibit the deputy county clerk from “performing any election duties” and to appoint a “custodian to monitor all election activities commencing 6:00 a.m., November 8, 2022 until the election authorities’ certification of results to the State Board of Elections.”
On the same day the suit was filed, a judge ruled in the plaintiff’s favor and issued a temporary restraining order stating that the deputy county clerk who was implicated in the complaint was barred from performing her Election Day duties. However, shortly after, the deputy county clerk provided evidence proving that the ballots in her car were sample ballots used to test voting machines, after which the judge reversed his initial temporary restraining order. This means that the deputy clerk has been reinstated and can perform her Election Day duties. On Nov. 7, the parties came to an agreement in which the Champaign County clerk’s office agreed to seal and hold onto “all test ballots used throughout the process of setting up equipment for 60 days after the election is over” in future elections.