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HomeIllinois NewsDunkin campaign buying votes for $50, Chicago alderman accuses

Dunkin campaign buying votes for $50, Chicago alderman accuses



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State Rep. Ken Dunkin's campaign paying for votes, Alderman Pat Dowell accused Sunday|DNAinfo

CHICAGO – Democrat primary early voters in an hotly-contested Chicago House district are being paid $50 and $100 to vote for incumbent State Rep. Ken Dunkin over challenger Juliana Stratton, DNAInfo.com reports Monday.

Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd), who endorsed Dunkin challenger Stratton for the state legislature, told reporters Sunday that four volunteers went undercover and recorded the alleged voter fraud on Friday.

Dunkin staffers and campaigners said the accusations are untrue and show Stratton is "desperate."

At a Sunday news conference, Alderman Dowell, along with Stratton and Secretary of State Jesse White, said last week volunteers noticed more people were voting than usual at Chicago Bee Library, an early voting location. DNAInfo.com reports:

They believe those voters were being paid and asked to "punch 121" to vote for Dunkin. Four volunteers went undercover, taking videos that appear to show them speaking with Dunkin supporters at a campaign office about where to vote and how to get paid, Dowell said.

People were "vetted," given a sample ballot and told to vote for Dunkin, Dowell said. The people were then taken to a van or bus to the library, voted, signed a "money sheet" and went to 2907 S. Wabash to show they voted and were paid $50 or $100, Dowell said, holding a bag full of money she said was given to the four people who went undercover.

In a video recorded by one of the people, a man wearing an orange Dunkin hat is seen passing out money to people signing papers in the office. A woman says, "You've got to sign your name on here," and the man says, "No address."

Alleged voter buying exchange starts at :50 in video below. The person at the Dunkin campaign office is recorded saying a busload was taken to a polling location, and is trying to find a ride for three others that came later.

The video man asks, "I gotta go down there and then come back here?"

She responds, "How you gonna get your money?"

Second video shows a woman promising $50 to Punch 121 – Ken Dunkin's slot on the precinct's Democratic ballot: 



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  1. I have always found it very amusing that direct payments to voters using campaign cash are illegal, but authorizing multi-billion dollar contracts using taxpayer dollars to insiders is legal. Even more amusing is some of the biggest proponents of spending taxpayer money are the ones complaining about Dunkin giving a token amount of money to a voter.