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County Clerk Mails Wrong Voter Information to Small Group of Residents

An unknown fraction of about 1,500 people were sent someone else's voter information due to a clerical error at the Cook County Clerk's office. The Clerk's office says the info is incomplete and harmless.

In the course of registering people to vote, the Cook County Clerk's Office mistakenly mailed some personal information to the wrong people.

A clerical error affected an unknown number among the 1,500 people who tried registering to vote online, according to Courtney Greve, spokeswoman for Cook County Clerk David Orr. She stressed the information sent in error was not complete and should not pose a risk of identity theft.

The State Board of Elections offered online voter registration this year. But to complete the online registration, people had to mail in a signature. The online program was popular and successful, but about 1,500 people never mailed their completed form, Greve said. 

"They inputed the data online and the data was sent to us, so we know that they submitted their information online but they're not considered registered to vote until we get the paper form with their signature," Greve said. "We did not want those 1,500 people to show up on election day and not be able to vote, so we sent them a mailing."

Ideally, the mailing was meant to include the addressed person's voter information — name, address, possibly a phone number and last four digits of a Social — and instructions on how to complete the registration process. 

"Unfortunately, in a subset of the 1,500, a different voter's information was on the letter," Greve said. "I know it was not all of them because we have received forms back signed from people with correct information on both sides."

Glenview Patch was recently notified by a resident named Kathleen, who declined to use her last name in print, that her son received a letter from the Cook County Clerk's office that included a total stranger's voting status and the last four digits of a Social Security number.

Kathleen is now concerned about who may have received her son's information.

"My son received an email asking to send the information back," Kathleen wrote in an email. "[Two] things were bothersome in that sensitive information was sent out and a lot of people were told they weren't registered 1 week before election."

Greve said the information that went out should not pose a threat to people's identity. 

"We don't believe that anybody can do anything with the information; it's incomplete information," she said. "We did not disclose anyone's full Social Security number, nor do we even store it in our database."

According to Greve, the Clerk's office has no way to know how many of those 1,500 people received the wrong information. So the Clerk's office emailed all 1,500 people, notifying recipients of the error some may have encountered and directions on completing the registration process.

"This is a very small segment of our total voting population," Greve said. "This does not impact all 1.41 million registered voters. We don't want people to be frightened prior to election day."

jason amos November 01, 2012 at 08:15 PM
Crook County at its best.
chris November 02, 2012 at 12:23 PM
Better have Toni Dopewinkle raise taxes again so they can hire more worthless AFSCME union mopes!
Sharon P. November 02, 2012 at 06:51 PM
I believe this, too! It should, also, be noted that our crooked county is trying to cheat people out of their voting privileges, in other ways, also. Since receiving the Voter Information for the November 6, 2012 Presidential Election, I have been calling the Cook County Clerk's office, for several weeks (I am disabled - could not understand the directions on the computer; so called), prior to October 29, 2012, so that I can vote, by mail. My call was NEVER returned. I have, even, been complaining about this of FaceBook! I, finally, received a call back on October 29th; and the person (a male) that I spoke with, had the audacity to tell me, after sighing a lot, that he will mail me an application; however, told me that they have to receive it back, by November 1, 2012, for it to be valid! He, then, went on to say, after I became outraged, because I have been calling!; that they are doing the best that they can. However, because of THEIR DISORDER, I, and other voters I'm sure, are being punished!
Sharon P. November 02, 2012 at 06:52 PM
Following up ... I did not receive an application until, about 5:30 p.m. (when my Post Carrier delivered the mail), ON OCTOBER 31, 2012! My carrier picked it up, on November 1, 2012, when my mail was delivered (I leave any mail that I need to go out, on my mailbox, for carrier)! I am sitting at home, RIGHT NOW, fretting about my situation (hoping that I can go out to vote, if need be), BECAUSE I WANT TO VOTE! Disabled, or not, this is my right as a U.S. Citizen! Now, I am not sure about any of this! I am so disappointed in the actions of Cook County, right now, regarding the voting process!
Ziggy November 02, 2012 at 11:28 PM
Let me get this straight - you applied online, but did not follow the instructions, then you expect someone to drop what they are doing to fix the problem you created. It's a government office, they have always been slow. That's where some of your lazy neighbors work .
Sharon P. November 04, 2012 at 11:16 AM
Usually, I never respond to anyone that, obviously, can't read, and comprehend what they read! However, I believe that I explained that I HAVE BEEN CALLING FOR SEVERAL WEEKS, AND LEAVING MESSAGES (Following their directions, obviously) AND THEY DID NOT GET BACK TO ME UNTIL TWO DAYS BEFORE THEY CLAIMED THE APPLICATION HAD TO BE RETURNED! Also, obviously, you are anti-government workers, so I rather not respond to you, anyway. And, to correct you, the government is NOT slow; get it right! There are employees that do not do their job; and give Government, or the State, a bad name; like any other job. ALL JOBS have workers that do not carry their weight! Did you guess what kind of job that I am on medical leave (permanent disability) from, yet??? Plus, this article is not about me; therefore learn to read and respond, appropriately (TO AN ARTICLE!). Just as you want to give your opinion; I have a right to mine. And, do not be quick to jump to a conclusion what a person did, or did not do. Also, wherever you work; they, obviously, have a lazy, AND BITTER, worker! I feel for them. Try to have a good weekend! I will. You, obviously, are not a happy person. You have a chip on your shoulder. Any responses like yours just roll off, my shoulders, into a gutter somewhere. In the words of my daughter, toodles!
CK November 06, 2012 at 12:55 AM
It must be George Bush at fault
CK November 06, 2012 at 12:58 AM
I read your website. And i now think for sure that we should not have lawyers or educators in congress.
Stan Golovchuk (Editor) November 06, 2012 at 12:58 AM
Walker or Herbert Walker or another George Bush that I may be forgetting?
Brandy Oomen November 06, 2012 at 03:57 AM
I am one of the 1,500 that this happened to. I only hope that the person who received my registration was kind enough as I was to rip it up and depose of this sensitive material. I completely take the blame for not having enough in in my printer to print, sign, and mail back the registration by the allotted date. I will just have to live with that fact that- IT DOESN'T"T MATTER WE LIVE IN A DECIDED STATE!!!!
Mike Fangman November 06, 2012 at 04:16 AM
To the people complaining about a human being making an error: I suppose you've never screwed up. They're humans, not automatons. Get over it.

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