Chicago: Loss of Transparency in the Election Process

In the 2020 election we saw a new tactic take the polls – the act of favoring one party affiliation over another when it comes to those who have access to and handle the ballots. As we approach the midterms we continue to see this tactic come to play.

Chicago recently announced that they will be requiring proof of a COVID-19 vaccination for election workers during their 40 days of early voting.

Why does this matter?

“A study released last month by the National Bureau of Economic Research seems to back up a long-held presumption that vaccine hesitancy is more widespread on the Right than the Left.”

Essentially showing that this requirement favors left-leaning election workers. This comes as a concern to many in the area who have organized countywide taskforces to help balance the polls as election incidents typically occur at the county level. Making sure there is balance in party representation (also known as parity) helps ensure accountability, transparency and inclusion throughout the election process. Three principles we advocate for in elections abroad and what we should advocate for here as well.

Creating a requirement that clearly favors one party affiliation over another does not promote parity and therefore does not promote accountability, transparency, or inclusion. Carol Davis, chairman of the Illinois Conservative Union says that “for the first time in decades, we have a real, concerted effort to have balance [at] our polls and we don’t want to see that disrupted”. These are the people handling the ballots, it is crucial that there is equal representation among party affiliations.

In direct response to the requirement Davis says its “contradictory, arbitrary, and downright silly,”.

This news comes a week after Janine Small, president of international development for Pfizer “testified to the European Parliament that the pharmaceutical company didn’t know whether its COVID-19 vaccine would prevent viral transmission before bringing it to market.” Making the requirement that much more unnecessary.

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