ST. LOUIS (KMOV) – With less than two weeks to go before Election Day, reminders have been mailed showing residents where to cast their ballots. But when reminders were sent to registered voters in East St. Louis, more than 2,000 mail items was returned.
Some of the people didn’t live at those addresses, and it’s possible some are dead but remain as registered voters. But city elections officials can’t explain how that happened or what’s going to be done about it.
Officials said 2262 post cards came back undeliverable. That’s nearly one out of every three mailed a few weeks ago by the Illinois Republican party.
News 4 counted hundreds of them and found that 88 people at the Roosevelt Public Housing complex didn’t get their mail, even though 49 of them still live there. It’s unclear what happened to the other 39 people
Local activist Matt Hawkins said a stack of undeliverable mail is more proof that the city elections board should be disbanded, and that St. Clair County should take control of elections in the city at a much lower cost to taxpayers.
Hawkins said the post card experiment shows the local board is incompetent and makes it easier for corruption to control city politics.
East St. Louis Mayor Alvin Parks insists the city elections board is important because he believes it makes voting more accessible to city residents, and he doesn’t want to give up local control.
East St. Louis residents can vote Election Day on whether to disband the city elections board.
The question on the ballot is: Shall we reject the city election law of 1885? If voters want it disbanded, vote yes. If you want it to stay the same, vote no.
The city director of elections declined to be interviewed and her attorney did not return News 4’s call for comment.