SPRINGFIELD – Hidden within the seriousness of the election time period are some unique tidbits for Illinois voters to ruminate over.
Some candidates have snazzy nicknames on their official candidate committee reports – there’s an “Iceman,” a “Zig,” and a “Junebug” all running for public office.
“Junebug” is actually Sylvester Hendricks out of the 5th Ward in Chicago. Hendricks said he got the name because he was born in the month of June.
A former United States Air Force commander, Hendricks is running as a Republican for the 26th Illinois House district seat against Democratic incumbent State Rep. Wiill Burns, despite describing himself as an “independent Democrat” and an “Obama”-can.
“I have to be true to myself,” Hendricks said when asked why he used the nickname in official election filings. “One thing I say is that just like you shouldn’t judge an individual for what (political) party that they’re running in, you shouldn’t judge a person by their name or nickname.”
Hendricks said he decided to run as a Republican to avoid a crowded Democratic primary race. He also did not want to gather the boosted number of signatures required to run as an independent or a third party candidate.
One third-party candidate wants his name clarified on early election ballots.
Some early voters for Green Party gubernatorial candidate Rich Whitney in the city of Chicago might have been confused when they reviewed their electronic ballot.
Electronic voting machines in all 54 Chicago wards omitted the letter “n” from Whitney’s name on a review screen if the voter chose Whitney for governor, according to Jim Allen, spokesman for the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners.
Allen said he expects all the electronic machines to be fixed by Thursday. He added that all electronic ballots submitted on the machines would be considered valid.
“It’s embarrassing and we take it seriously,” he said.
Whitney, who received ten percent of the vote in the 2006 gubernatorial election is considering legal action.
“Whether it’s gross negligence or a malicious act, it’s still wrong, it’s stlll irresponsible, and it still never should have happened,” he said.
Voters seeking to avoid electoral legal conflict may heed one advocacy group’s advice to sit back and relax in the buff while punching in their absentee ballots.
Vote Naked Illinois is a joint effort by civil rights group Equality Illinois and Roosevelt University to publicize the state’s new absentee ballot laws.
Voters can now request absentee ballots without providing an excuse, which led to the idea of promoting voting through nudity, according to Equality Illinois CEO Bernard Cherkasov.
“We just wanted to grab people’s attention and we enjoy the fact and wanted to draw attention to the fact that (Illinois registered voters) really can vote in the privacy of their own home in any state (of clothing) that they choose,” he said.
Cherkasov said Vote Naked Illinois has released tasteful videos on YouTube and Facebook to promote absentee voting.
He added that participants kindly refrain from submitting their own pictures and videos of their in-the-buff civic participation.
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