Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Del Valle Camp Claims Voter Intimidation

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Volunteers with the Miguel del Valle campaign in Chicago's 14th Ward claim they've been threatened with arrest and have seen people peering over ballot boxes as voters make their choices.

Volunteers with the Miguel del Valle campaign in Chicago's 14th Ward claim they've been threatened with arrest and have seen people peering over ballot boxes as voters make their choices.

"We're really disappointed.  Del Valle's campaign is a campaign of volunteers.  We have kids.  We have moms.  Although, maybe I shouldn't be surprised that in the 14th Ward, this is happening, but we have our kids being intimidated.  They're being told they're going to get arrested if they don't go home," said Xavier Nogueras, the campaign's communication manager.

He said the campaign's main lawyer, Marni Willenson, visited a precinct in the ward and had her credentials thrown out in the snow by someone claiming to represent the Chicago Board of Elections when she questioned why people were watching voters cast their ballots.

The alderman in the 14th Ward is Edward Burke, who is supporting Gery Chico in the race to replace Mayor Richard Daley.

"[Chico] needs to let his people know to stop intimidating our young people and our moms that are out there trying to participate in this great Democratic process," said Nogueras, adding that the people seen intimidating others were wearing Chico campaign memorabilia.

Del Valle said he's "very upset" over the incident.

"I thought we were over this behavior," he said.  "It's remnants of the old machine."

The del Valle camp said it filed complaints with the offices of Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez.

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