Polling complaints echo in Illinois

On election day here attention shifted from whether the Cook County Democratic machine could deliver votes to whether the voting machines could register them. Monitor correspondent Lucia Mouat reports that the county state's attorney's office received a near-record 1,500 complaints of election irregularities Tuesday -- including 75 calls saying that voting levers beside the name of Richard M. Daley, running for state's attorney against Mr. Burke, had been jammed with bits of paper or that the name had been scratched out or covered over by tape. Out-of-order machines were another key complaint. In 14 precincts, not one, but both voting machines were out of order for an average of four hours, and polls wer ordered to remain open for an extra two hours.

"In every election we've had reports of a few machines out sporadically here and there," says a spokesman for the state's attorney's office, "but this was the first time we've had two out in the same polling plance at once."

Local authorities also arrested a few election workers on charges of campaigning too close to the polls, illegally assisting voters, and vote buying.

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