Kane County Clerk Jack Cunningham said June 22 that a group of residents suspicious of fraud and fearful of liberal influences in local elections are “indoctrinated” and “sociopaths.”
But at the same time, Cunningham announced he will work toward a key change those same people have been calling for.
The group, which has included Kane County GOP Chairman Andro Lerario, spent the past several months calling for a return to paper ballots and the hand counting of votes. They also want Cunningham to return a $2 million grant from the Center for Technology and Civic Life.
Opponents of the grant believe the money is coming from “Silicon Valley billionaires” and is a liberal Trojan Horse because the grant was bestowed by a Chicago-based nonprofit with Democratic ties.
During a Kane County Board committee meeting June 22, Cunningham told the raucous opponents their concerns about the money are based on “listening to misinformation and malinformation.”
“You can shake your head if you want. It doesn’t bother me,” Cunnigham said. “I know what the facts are and you don’t. I know what sociopaths are. I know when people are being indoctrinated.
“Since these groups have gotten involved with misinformation, the Republican Party has become the minority party. Wake up.”
Cunningham, who is a Republican, said he will use the $2 million to hire police officers to work at polling places on Election Day. He also will create an educational program designed to address the claims of people questioning election integrity. He said neither his office nor the county board has accepted or will accept any money in trade for compromising local elections.
“I’ve listened to every one of your claims,” Cunningham said. “I’ve watched people get up and abuse the chairwoman. ... You can’t frighten me. I’m going to do what’s best for the county.”
Cunningham called for an end to the undermining of faith in elections. He said there is no evidence of widespread election fraud anywhere in the country.
“There are real people out there who want to destroy our country,” Cunningham said. “The best thing they can do to destroy it is knock down your faith in the electoral process. Be careful you’re not aiding and abetting Russia and people putting out the stuff I’m hearing here today.”
On the flip side, Cunningham said he will work to transition away from electronic voting machines and back to paper ballots.
The group questioning the outcome of recent local elections has labeled voting machines as “synonymous with fraud.”
A recent investigation by the Kane County State’s Attorney’s office found no evidence of fraud in the April consolidated election.
Cunningham did not set a timeline for the move to paper ballots. The county board committee that Cunningham reports to will discuss two election-related resolutions at their July meeting.