Note 60: An open response to IL GOP Chairman Don Tracy re: recruiting Election Judges
Some suggestions about recruiting election judges for IL's top GOP politico.
I received an unsolicited letter yesterday from the Illinois Republican Party Chairman on the topic of volunteering for serving as an Election Judge in the upcoming general election next month. You can read that letter below.
As a Republican Election Judge, I had some feedback for the Chairman, which has been sent to his office and reproduced below.
Dear Chairman Tracy,
Thank you for your recent letter reaching out to Chicago Republicans encouraging those few of us in the city to serve as Election Judges for the upcoming general election next month. As a Chicago Republican Election Judge since 2016, it has been my honor to serve my community (formerly Ward 46 Precinct 5, now Ward 46 Precinct 7) in this role for the last several election cycles.
I'm replying to your letter with a couple of thoughts in response to its content. First of all, I was taken aback by your suggestion that if a sufficient number of Republicans do not volunteer to balance out the Democratic Judges, we'd somehow “lose our right to be represented on Election Day”. This is cheap fear mongering of the worst sort that has become a hallmark of the national Republican Party since Donald Trump lost his race to Joe Biden fair and square in 2020. I will unreservedly testify that ALL of the Democrats I've worked alongside during ALL the past election cycles I've served with have been community-minded servants more interested in guaranteeing that their neighbors and fellow voters have a smooth and secure experience voting at our polling site than pushing some party agenda. While I believe in balancing the number of Election Judges from both parties – if only for to make sure that all voters feel represented at the polling place – your cheap language about “losing our right” only serves to antagonize a situation that needs NONE of that.
Secondly, I was dismayed that you highlighted how much a Republican Election Judge could earn WITHOUT completing the REQUIRED training. Ensuring a smooth and fair election is not the kind of job that someone can just walk onto without the necessary instruction in processes, rules, and procedures. While all Election Judges are welcome and appreciated, an untrained one who signed up merely on behalf of their party will be a greater impediment to a smooth, timely, and secure election than any sort of party-initiated shenanigans. The next time you reach out to potential Election Judges, rework your language to try and maximize the number of WELL-TRAINED Republican Judges instead of warm Republican bodies just there to balance out the number of Democrats.
Finally – and this is a suggestion for the next election cycle – you may find more willing Republican Election Judges if you use your position as the Chairman of the Illinois Republican Party to vocally and unambiguously push back against the charges of stolen elections, rampant fraud, and corrupt poll workers being pushed not only by sore losers and grifters in the national Republican Party, but also by other State GOP organizations, Senate and Congressional members, and some of our own candidates here in Illinois. As someone who puts in the time every election cycle to ensure that my training is up to date and spends each Election Day serving my community (including significant time in the weeks and days before getting things ready for when polls open), NOTHING has been more discouraging than the lack of leadership from the IL GOP in standing up to these stupid lies and conspiracy theories.
I'm pleased that the State party declined national calls to censure Adam Kinzinger for his important work standing up for election integrity (alongside fellow Republican Liz Cheney) and the right of ALL voters to be counted, not just those who thought it proper to act out a temper tantrum and violently raid the Capitol on January 6th. While it is too late for Congressman Kinzinger to continue representing Illinoisans proudly on the right side of history after this election cycle, as the Chairman of the Illinois Republican Party, you have the opportunity to take up that baton in the cause against election denial-ism and conspiracy theories. Doing so, you may find it easier to recruit Republican Election Judges for the 2024 elections and beyond. Not only will that ensure a party balance at more polling places, this will also strengthen the Illinois Republican Party's ideological immune system with more Illinois Republicans knowledgeable on ACTUAL election systems and procedures to serve as a counterweight to the grifters currently afflicting the Party with their easily disproven lies and conspiracy theories. I've been doing my part encouraging every Republican I know who has been taken in by these frauds to reach out to their local election officials to inquire about becoming poll workers themselves to see how stupid these lies are. The more Republicans we can get actually doing this important civic work will only help to prevent this dangerous foolishness from surging and spreading again.
It has been my honor to serve my community as their Republican Election Judge, and I look forward to doing so over as many cycles in the future that I can. It has allowed me to get to know fellow Judges from both parties of the highest integrity, and my experience actually doing the work has been invaluable in responding to the tide of outright bovine excrement unleashed by 2020's sore loser. I hope you are successful in your recruitment efforts and wish you all the luck.
May your efforts bear fruit,
Chris J. Karr
Illinois Republican Election Judge
Ward 46, Precinct 7 (formerly 5)
P.S. Please feel free to share my contact information with any potential Chicago Election Judges if they have questions about serving in their community. I'm happy to answer any and all questions they may have. I am also available at [REDACTED] if any potential Judges wish to learn more that way.
The Notes hiatus will end soon in the next several weeks with some interesting updates about the crazy year 2022 has been and what I’ve been up to while not drafting weekly newsletters. Stay tuned, CMDRs.
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