Jim Montelongo questions mail-in ballot counting with letter to Peoria Election Commission

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — One of Peoria’s mayoral candidates has lawyered up and is questioning how the county’s mail-in ballots are counted.

Jim Montelongo posted a letter to Facebook Monday, April 12, written by his attorney William Atkins. The letter accused the Peoria County Election Commission (PCEC) of poor record-keeping and “a blatant refusal to keep these records in a manner mandated by statute.”

The letter accuses the PCEC of refusing to follow the mandates of the Illinois Election Code (IEC) with mail-in ballots.

Montelongo’s poll watchers alleged the PCEC did not enclose a single mail-in ballot with the voter’s application in a large or carrier envelope; a requirement of the IEC. Also included in the letter is an accusation that the PCEC did not secure or seal the envelope with the name and official title of the person receiving the ballot.

“Clearly, since the ballots are not being enclosed in a carrier envelope, they are also not being securely sealed in such envelope, nor could anyone endorse their name and official title on the envelopes in the which the ballots are not being placed,” the letter reads.

Peoria Election Commission Executive Director Thomas Bride responded the next day with a statement.

“We are in compliance with election laws and the state board of election’s protocols. We are using the same process we have used in every other election for the last several years. The mail-in ballots are sealed, bar-coded, kept in a locked room that has 24-hour surveillance, and only opened by election judges—one republican, one democrat,” Bride said.

Read the full letter below:

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