Over at the Chicago Sun-Times, there is a story about election challenges that is particularly disturbing.
Apparently people who sign third-party candidates including Libertarian and Green Party, are having their signatures questioned and are being visited by a gun-wielding private investigator who tells them the previous document they signed was fraudulent and gives them a new paper to sign.
One signer said the experience was downright frightening:
“I did not have time to fully review this document because the man with the gun instructed me to sign it, and I was afraid of him and what he may do to me if I refused,” said Julieus Hooks of Oak Park, Ill.
Supporters of Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican challenger Bruce Rauner are reportedly quietly working to ensure that no third-party candidate has the chance to tilt the outcome in a tight election.
Both candidates are fearing that third-parties may siphon off needed votes. The Republicans have their sights on Libertarian voters like Hooks.
Here is more about what happened to Hooks: Hooks said, “On or about July 20, 2014, I was exiting my house when a tall Caucasian man and a woman approached and startled me. The man had a gun, which was visible. They told me that the woman who had circulated the petition sheet that I had signed had violated the law because she had obtained too many signatures and committed fraud. I was then given a piece of paper and told to sign.”
The signature gatherer had a similar run-in with the private investigator, who wanted to force the woman to recant the signatures she gathered as fraudulent, which she refused.
A Republican party spokesperson said that they did hire a private investigator to handle the case against the Libertarian petition.
Hooks said that after this experience, no other petitions will be signed.
“Next time somebody asks me, I’m not signing nothing. I don’t care what the petitions are for,” said Hooks.