A subscriber to Capitol Fax, a subscription-based Illinois political news service, shares a fascinating bit of news with me. I don’t want to post from the article directly — the guys at Capitol Fax need to make a living — so I’ll just broadly outline their scoop.
Illinois Democrats appear to have made serious mistakes in their absentee-ballot get-out-the-vote efforts. They started late and they mailed all of their absentee-ballot applications for every targeted voter in the state from one location in Chicago. Obviously, that takes longer than mailing it locally, and so many of the applications are still sitting in post-office bins across the state. The deadline for requesting an absentee ballot is . . . today.
So the state party has to contact these folks by phone and tell them that they’re in danger of missing the deadline, and so they should vote in person on November 2 . . . except they don’t have the phone numbers for all of their targeted voters.
Republicans, meanwhile, have a three week head-start. It is not clear how much these troubles will impede Democratic get-out-the-vote efforts, but you figure it probably hurts Pat Quinn and Alexi Giannoulias on the margins, and those guys don’t have much room for error.
UPDATE: Brian Faughnan writes in to offer a deeply disturbing theory: “A GOP veteran of Chicago politics suggests that the Dems ‘screwed up’ that absentee-ballot campaign on purpose. He suggests that the plan was to ensure that lots of ballots are fouled, to force a showdown over whether to count tens of thousands of ballots that can’t be verified. He sees it as a way to insert vote fraud into the process in a massive way.”