Local authorities, the Illinois attorney general, and the Post Office are all investigating the discovery in the Rock Island Post Office of more than 1,500 applications for absentee ballots. They were discovered in a post office box last week, less than two weeks before election day.
Rock Island County State's Attorney, John McGehee, says state law allows organizations to sent out absentee applications, but also requires that they be turned over to the county clerk.
"The clerk will then have an election judge look at the signature on the application, and then send out the ballots so then people can return their absentee ballots directly back to the county clerk."
McGehee says ballot applications must be turned over County Clerk Karen Kinney at least five days before the election, and that would be this coming Thursday, November 3rd.
"Karen was concerned either these applications were not going to be turned over to her at all or that they were going to be turned over at the last minute which would have been very difficult to process."
The name of the group sending out the absentee applications was "Rock Island County Vote By Mail Center." He says the people behind this also seem to be behind similar organizations in at least two other counties, Kankakee and Will, but they're still trying to track them down. McGehee worries the same problem might be occurring in those counties too.
A total of 1,511 applications were found in a post office box at the Rock Island post office.