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State Senator Tells His Side Of Polling Place Run-In

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Elgin State Sen. Michael Noland (Facebook)

Elgin State Sen. Michael Noland (Facebook)

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ELGIN, Ill. (STMW) – State Sen. Michael Noland has given his side of a run-in between him and a Carpentersville police officer at a polling place on Election Day.

Police reported they were called to the polling place at St. Monica’s Catholic Church on Route 25 in Carpentersville when Noland (D-Elgin) refused to provide identification to election judges. They said that in lieu of his driver’s license, Noland showed the officer a traffic ticket he had been issued for allegedly driving without insurance.

“Every election day, I visit as many polling places as I can so I can thank the election judges for serving,” Noland said Friday. “I say, ‘I’m Sen. Michael Noland, and I want to thank you for giving your time for this.’ The visits also allow me to gauge how high the turnout [of voters] is, though I don’t ask the judges for any numbers.”

“At St. Monica’s, I was not talking to any voters, and I was not wearing any campaign buttons or doing any campaigning inside the polling place,” Noland said. “But St. Monica’s had very demonstrative Republican judges. They said that unless I had credentials allowing me to be there, I had to leave, and right away, they called the police.”

Noland said he had only the traffic ticket instead of his driver’s license because he had not had his auto insurance card with him when he was pulled over by police one time recently. “I do have insurance, but I had forgotten to put the new proof-of-insurance card in my glove compartment,” he said.

Noland said that by that point, he already was prepared to move on to the next polling place and that nothing further ensued in the incident.

Noland, who was re-elected to his second term in office Tuesday, said the only other time his polling-place visits were challenged this year was during an incident at St. Hugh of Lincoln Episcopal Church on West Highland Avenue in Elgin. A voter there asked him to help her work the electronic voting machine, and he went with her into the voting booth to do that, he said. A Republican poll watcher challenged his right to go into the voting booth area, but he said he convinced the poll watcher it is a voter’s right to bring along someone to assist her in casting the ballot.

© Sun-Times Media Wire Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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