Bank Your Vote or Go For Broke?

Written by Nancy Hayes

Republicans’ new idea for winning the upcoming 2024 election is a nationwide campaign they’re calling “Bank Your Vote,” a Republican National Committee (RNC) strategy that is trickling back to the GOP in the states, including in Illinois.

The gist of it is, that local GOP officials are encouraging Republicans to vote early in 2024. The campaign is meant to maximize pre-Election Day voting through in-person voting, absentee voting, and ballot harvesting where legal.

But to support this national “Bank Your Vote” campaign, you’d have to first believe that our voter rolls are clean, that no ballot boxes were stuffed, and that fraud doesn’t exist in vote-by-mail ballots.

That’s a tall order!

Let’s start with the premise of “clean” voter rolls, shall we?

As someone who has personally examined voter rolls and worked in election integrity with several grassroots organizations, I can honestly say, along with other data experts in the field like Seth Keshel, Dr. Douglas Frank, and others at such well-known organizations like Judicial Watch, Public Interest Legal Foundation, and the Heritage Foundation

our voter rolls are NOT clean.

If that were the case, Seth Keshel wouldn’t have published a “heat map” of election anomalies across the United States (including Illinois), showing the most problematic counties in red.

So too, Dr. Douglas Frank wouldn’t have published his data, graphs, and comparisons of the number of registered voters versus the number of voting-age citizens or eligible citizens across the country. Using our own Census data, he also showed “dirty” voter rolls and the likelihood of phantom voters in various counties, which were used to inflate results in many precincts, counties, and states including Illinois.

Besides Seth Keshel and Dr. Frank, there’s Judicial Watch.

Anyone who has done studies on “dirty” voter rolls across America has heard and/or read about Judicial Watch’s many lawsuits against states including California, where the state and L.A. County were forced to remove over 1.5 million inactive voters from their voter rolls.

In 2017, Judicial Watch released a study showing 11 states that had more registered voters than the number of voting-age citizens based on the previous Census data. In Illinois, they showed the following counties were guilty of this: Alexander, Bureau, Cass, Clark, Crawford, DuPage, Franklin, Grundy, Hardin, Henderson, Jefferson, Jersey, Massac, McHenry, Mercer, Monroe, Pulaski, Rock Island, Sangamon, Scott, Union, Wabash, Washington, and White.

It was just this past year that Judicial Watch settled a lawsuit in Illinois for access to the voter rolls!

Clean voter rolls? I think not.

Of course, one can view additional research at the websites of both the Public Interest Legal Foundation and Heritage Foundation to gain more insights and read about other lawsuits involving election integrity.

There is not enough space in one article to discuss all of the irregularities, anomalies, lawsuits, and other concerns over election integrity, especially those related to the voter rolls.

Besides dirty voter rolls, there’s the problem of the left-leaning Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) or, as many Conservatives say, the “Everyone Realizes It’s Corrupt” system. Illinois is a member and pays a substantial amount of taxpayer dollars to have ERIC “clean our voter rolls.”

One might think that if ERIC had done its job, Judicial Watch wouldn’t have had to sue so many states to remove invalid or “inactive” voters, but here we are – living in reality!

Additionally, if you have been following the data, nine states, including Louisiana, Alabama, West Virginia, Missouri, Florida, and Ohio—this year alone—have pulled out of ERIC.

One only needs to look at Wisconsin to see ERIC’s failure: there are 7 million registered voters on the list in a state with less than 4 million eligible voters.

ERIC is obviously NOT working!

It’s obsolete, inefficient, and has failed at its task of cleaning up various state’s voter rolls, including Illinois’.

Moving past problems with dirty voter rolls…

There are also issues related to the “chain of custody” of ballots, especially in the case of vote-by-mail. If the RNC and the GOP are going to push for vote-by-mail, we need to discuss these issues.

But first, you would have to believe that your local county election officials can produce a current copy or record of the “chain of custody” when it comes to all ballots—early, absentee/vote-by-mail, and in-person or on election day.

Well, good luck trying to get a proper record for “chain of custody” from any county clerk, especially in DuPage or Cook Counties. Several grassroots groups in Illinois and other states have requested these documents through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, and most have been denied or ignored.

In 2022, the Edgar County Watchdogs (Illinois Leaks) wrote an article discussing “Chain of Custody Failures – DuPage and Champaign Counties.” They posed the question:

What happens when the DuPage County Clerk, Jean Kaczmarek doesn’t get vote-by-mail ballots delivered directly to them from the post office?

The county clerk just sends someone over to pick them up at the post office.

But surely there must be a “chain of custody” report? After THREE requests, Edgar County Watchdogs STILL have not received this record. Champaign County had similar concerns.

Other than dirty voter rolls related to ERIC and problems with the “chain of custody” in Illinois, what other issues exist when it comes to issues with vote-by-mail?

Well, are you aware that back in August of 2020, the Chicago Cook County Republican Organization filed a lawsuit contending that

“by promoting the use of mail-in voting [JB Prtizker and the Illinois Democrats] is attempting to put as many ballots into play as possible in order to sway the election”?

The GOP contended political rights were being violated by a…

“partisan voting scheme that is designed to harvest Democrat ballots and dilute Republican ballots, and if the election still doesn’t turn out the way he (Pritzker) wants he will generate enough Democrat ballots after election day to sway the result.”

So, our own Chicago GOP sued the State Board of Elections in 2020. The lawsuit addressed several problems with vote-by-mail, but don’t worry. This year everything is fine and, like the Illinois GOP, we should all support vote-by-mail and “Bank Our Vote.”

Illinois is already one of the most liberal vote-by-mail states in the country with NO EXCUSE needed for absentee or vote-by-mail applications. In Illinois, we accept postmarked ballots by midnight on election day even if they arrive up to two weeks later.

As stated in the lawsuit:

“Illinois is one of the most inept in the Union and the public has NO REASON to expect a VOTE-BY-MAIL system to work any more smoothly than a variety of other projects Illinois stumbled through in recent years.”

That quote refers to 120,000 unemployment fraud incidents as well as 16-year-olds who were sent vote-by-mail applications.

The suit claims that in Illinois we had “heightened voter fraud” by allowing for a practice known as ballot harvesting, in which a paid, partisan operative may collect vote-by-mail applications and ballots. Then this individual ensures they are turned in and counted.

Back at the time of the lawsuit in 2020, the Cook County Republican Chair stated:

“More than any other state in our nation, Illinois has a track record of both corruption and incompetence – and its residents have no reason to believe that the government can conduct an honest and accurate vote-by-mail in the upcoming election.”

So, what’s changed since 2020 and the Cook County Republicans’ lawsuit against the State Board of Elections such that Republicans in Illinois are now PUSHING FOR “Bank-Your-Vote” in 2022?

Does anyone remember the Bipartisan Commission on Federal Elections Reform?

In 2005, the Bipartisan Commission on Federal Elections Reform was chaired by former President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State, James A. Baker, III. They concluded from the Commission that


They also added,

“Vote buying schemes are far more difficult to detect when citizens vote by mail.”

Carter even shared how nursing homes were “susceptible to pressure.”

So, in conclusion, not much has changed since that report was published in 2005.

Vote-by-mail is still one of the largest sources of voter fraud in the United States.

The only way we are going to take back our elections is to follow some easy steps outlined by Seth Keshel:

  • Clean Out the Voter Rolls.
  • Ban all Electronics.
  • Require Voter ID.
  • Ban Mail-in Voting.
  • Ban Early Voting.
  • Smaller Precincts.
  • Ban Ballot Harvesting.
  • New Transparency Rules.
  • Prison Time for Fraud.
  • Election Day Holiday

Because in the end, it comes down to one thing…

“Bank Your Vote” or Go For Broke?

Nancy Hayes is a Christian wife, mother and educator on election integrity for several  grassroots organizations across Illinois. She is also a Deputy Committeeman at Lemont Township Republican Organization and a Board Member at United Southland Republican Women-Chgo SW Suburbs.