State Rep. Ken Dunkin's (D-Chicago) campaign is being accused of vote buying in the contentious legislative race in the state's 5th district.
During a Sunday news conference, Chicago Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd) claimed that Dunkin supporters paid individuals $50 or $100 to cast early ballots for the state representative. Dowell said these alleged payments were provided to four people, who went undercover after campaign volunteers saw an unusually high voter turnout at the early voting site at the Chicago Bee library branch. The people who went undercover videotaped the alleged vote-buying efforts, which, according to Dowell, involved Dunkin workers allegedly vetting voters at the campaign's office. Voters were then transported to the early voting site and provided with $50 to $100 payments at Dunkin's campaign office after voting, Dowell claimed.
Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White and Juliana Stratton, Dunkin's primary opponent, appeared with Dowell at the news conference.
"This is a violation of all laws of human decency, and shame on Mr. Dunkin and his organization for doing this," White stated, reported the Chicago Sun-Times.
The Dunkin campaign released a statement in response to the allegations.
"Dowell's baseless accusations are consistent with the desperate tactics previously used by the (House Speaker Michael) Madigan-led Stratton campaign," the statement reads. "While Rep. Dunkin is working on issues such as abolishing red-light cameras, his opponent is still up to the same dirty tricks that have defined her campaign."