BELLEVILLE, Ill. (KMOX) — Charges of election fraud are being leveled in two metro east communities. St. Clair County Clerk Bob Delaney says his office is holding on to nearly 400 absentee ballots and applications for absentee ballots for this municipal election that he believes are fraudulent.

“Two weeks ago we started getting calls from people who’d seen the public posting of the names of those who’d requested absentee ballots and they were saying that’s not me.”

Delaney also says signatures on applications didn’t match the signatures on record and when he drove to check some of the addresses, he found vacant lots and vacant homes in Alorton and Washington Park. “These come from 10 precincts total. Two in the village of Alorton and eight in Washington Park.”

St. Clair County Sheriff Rick Watson and State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly had staff working the election today as a result.

Delaney says, “I want to commend Rick Watson and Brendan Kelly for putting people on the streets today to look out for this. Hopefully we’ll catch the people doing this and we’ll get some indictments .”

He tells KMOX News, he believes the fraud goes all the way to the candidate. “Yes, you can tell a pattern that these ballots are related to certain candidates but I can’t say much more than that.”

The county clerk also had to deal with voter intimidation and one election judge who was giving certain voters the spelling of a write-in candidates name something Delaney says is completely illegal. Both occurred in the village of Alorton.

After the election is over and the suspicious ballots are turned over to the State’s Attorney’s office, Delaney says he’s going to talk to both parties and state lawmakers are changing the entire absentee ballot system and looking into photo id. He explains that early voting requires photo identification but absentee ballot applications do not, nor do they require specific reasons any more like being out of town, deployed or hospitalized. That’s one aspect he’d like to see return.

He says, “the absentee ballot system is ripe for fraud.”

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