A U.S. attorney says a federal grand jury will investigate allegations of vote fraud in Chicago amid spreading allegations of bogus voting in last month's close election for governor.
Prosecutor Dan K. Webb said he has received more than 100 allegations of irregularities such as ghost voting and ballot transferring and that the inquiry will determine if there is enough evidence for possible criminal indictments.
FBI agents visited the Chicago Board of Elections commissioners late Thursday to subpoena records from a precinct, where a Democratic Party worker says he participated in illegal voting.
Other residents of that precinct told the Chicago Tribune that they witnessed four cases in which election judges permitted voters without proper registration to cast ballots during the Nov. 2 general election.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported that complaints of voting irregularities have also surfaced in four other wards.
Republican Gov. James R. Thompson defeated Democrat Adlai E. Stevenson III by 5,074 votes out of more than 3.6 million cast.
Meanwhile, John R. Schmidt, chief attorney for Stevenson, said "widespread irregularities" in the November election were showing up downstate.
Schmidt and Edward Vogt, another Stevenson lawyer, singled out a predominantly Democratic, mostly black precinct in Kankakee where they said Thompson won 60 of 63 absentee ballots although Stevenson carried the precinct 2 to 1.
Vogt said his suspicions were raised mostly because none of the 60 pro-Thompson ballots contained a vote for Democratic Comptroller Roland Burris, the first black elected statewide in Illinois. Burris was reelected by a huge margin.
Vogt said he suspected "chain voting," in which voters allow someone else, usually a precinct captain, to fill out their absentee ballots.
The Tribune also reported that a Democratic precinct worker said he was involved in an election scheme to use absentee ballots and ghost balloting to pad the Democratic vote.