Will County Gazette

Will County Gazette

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Underwood’s challenger asks her to 'come clean' about voting history


By W.J. Kennedy | Jan 4, 2019

US Capitol

Matt Quigley, the 32-year-old Naperville resident challenging newly sworn-in Congresswoman Lauren Underwood in the 14th, is asking her to explain some questionable voting practices first brought to the public’s attention by the Will County Gazette.

“She ran on being responsive to constituents,” Quigley told the Gazette. “Now there is a citizen raising questions about her voting history that she needs to respond to. She needs to come clean and explain how something like this happened.”

Quigley repeated his request of Underwood on Friday at a press conference in front of the Will County Courthouse where he formally announced his candidacy for Congress. He’s running as a conservative Republican, he said.

Alerted by the Gazette's story about Underwood, Stephen Youhanaie of Oswego started digging into her voting past. He found that she voted by absentee ballot in the 2016 Democratic primary in Illinois even though she was living in Washington, D.C. and registered to vote there that year. 

In mid-December, he filed a complaint with the State Board of Elections. A spokesperson for the Will County State's Attorney's Office told the Gazette that they have been in touch with the Board, and are awaiting the results of the investigation. 

 “The Will County Clerk’s office told me there was an address on file where the absentee ballot for the March primary was sent for Lauren Underwood,” Youhanaie said for an earlier article. “They told me the address where it was sent was in Will County. Her parents live in Will County. The voting records indicate that the ballot was returned as a cast ballot, where they matched her signature on file to the signature of the outside of the cast ballot.”

An election law expert told the Gazette that anyone purporting to be registered to vote in two jurisdictions is in violation of the law. Other legal requirements to vote in Illinois include being at least 18 years old, a citizen and a state resident at least 30 days prior to voting.

For his part, Quigley said, he doesn’t want controversy surrounding Underwood’s voting record to become a partisan issue.

“I want an impartial investigation to find out what’s really going on,” he said.

Quigley is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and founder of a software firm.

A former Obama administration aide, Underwood defeated incumbent Randy Hultgren (R-Plano) in November. The 14th includes parts of Naperville, Plainfield and Shorewood.

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