The Cook County Clerk is telling voters not to believe claims of early voting results after the Broadview Village Clerk apparently claimed on Facebook, though he denies it, that early voting results were running against approval of the building bond referendum that is on the March 17 primary ballot in Komarek School District 94.
“It has come to our attention that claims are being made about actual election results in the Komarek School District 94 referendum,” Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough said in a press release. “No matter who is claiming to know the results of early voting on this question these claims have no basis.”
The Cook County Clerk supervises elections in suburban Cook County and has the responsibility to count votes in suburban Cook County.
A Facebook post from the account belonging to Broadview Village Clerk Kenneth McGrier posted on a community forum stated that early voting results indicated that 62 percent of early voters were voting against the Komarek referendum. A portion of Broadview is part of Komarek School District 94.
“Looking at the early voting thus far — this will fail again 62% no to 38% yes — so far,” the post stated.
The post, screenshots of which were obtained by the Landmark, was removed after some people, including North Riverside Village Clerk Kathy Ranieri questioned how McGrier could know the results of early voting.
In a telephone interview with the Landmark, McGrier denied making that specific post but admitted that he had been making posts about the Komarek referendum on Facebook.
“I made several posts regarding this issue,” McGrier said. “It was brought to my attention that a post suggesting that that there was exit polls done or I had results, and I went to look at that post and it disappeared. I have no idea who posted that, and I didn’t see it until I saw a screenshot from another party.”
Ranieri brought the post to the attention of the Cook County Clerk’s Office, which responded by issuing the press release with Yarbrough’s statements. Ranieri said that officials in the County Clerk’s office told her that no one, including village clerks, has access to early voting results.
“To be posting something like that, especially him in his position, that was just so wrong,” Ranieri said of the Facebook post.
Yarbrough said no one has access to early voting results. Early voting began on March 2 at various locations. Early votes are typically not tabulated counted until the polls close on Election Day.
“It is illegal for anyone to tally or publish election results before all the polls are closed on Election night,” Yarbrough said in the press release. “Furthermore, no one has any way to know the incomplete results either. We urge all residents to vote, and to refrain from making such claims.”
The referendum asks voters if they wish to raise taxes to borrow $20.8 million to fund a renovation at Komarek School which would involve tearing down much of the current east building and expanding the west building.