E. ST. LOUIS, Ill. (CN) - St. Clair County, Ill., intends to disenfranchise black voters in Alorton in the Tuesday, April 7, election, a class-action claims in Federal Court. The black community claims County Clerk Robert Delaney has sent hundreds of letters threatening to disenfranchise longtime black voter for violating a "nonexistent" statute.
The complaint states: "This case arises out of a baseless threat by a county official under the color of state to restrict and/or cancel the registration of voters from one city, Alorton, in St. Clair County, Illinois, a predominantly African-American community. ...
"On or about March 24-26, 2009, Robert Delaney ('Delaney'), in his capacity as County Clerk of St. Clair County, Illinois, mailed a letter to Plaintiffs.
"The Letter stated that Delaney's office conducted an inspection which may result in the Letter recipient's "cancellation of voter registration and/or invalidate a previously submitted absentee ballot to vote in the April 7, Consolidated Election.
"The Letter also demanded that, in order to vote in the April 7th election, the recipient must appear and show cause at a hearing held on Wednesday, April 1 or Thursday, April 2, pursuant to a non-existent statute 10 ILCS 5/14-18.
"According to the Letter, a failure to appear at the scheduled time would result in a cancellation of the voter registration for the recipient."
The class is represented by John Driscoll of St. Louis.