PILSEN — Byron Sigcho Lopez, a candidate for 25th Ward alderman, denounced allegations that his supporters engaged in ballot theft at a Chinatown senior center.
Earlier this week, candidate Hilario Dominguez, a former teacher and activist, along with State Rep. Theresa Mah, whose 2nd District seat includes Chinatown and Pilsen, leveled the allegations at Sigcho Lopez’s supporters.
They alleged his supporters took incomplete vote-by-mail ballots from seniors at the Chinatown Elderly Apartments, 300 W. 23rd St. They were then told their ballots would be filled out for Sigcho Lopez because they had previously received a free meal at Phoenix Restaurant from Sigcho Lopez’s campaign, the state representative and the aldermanic challenger alleged.
Mah and Dominguez filed a complaint regarding the allegations with the Chicago Board of Elections, confirmed Jim Allen, a spokesman for the board. The complaint has since been sent to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office.
“The Chicago Election Board is in the process of looking into the matter and will cooperate fully with any investigation the State’s Attorney’s office might want to pursue,” Allen said.
Dominguez said the alleged manipulation of senior votes was “outright appalling,” and called for Sigcho Lopez, former director of Pilsen Alliance, to “work with the Board of Elections to return these incomplete ballots to the voters.”
Sigcho Lopez said the allegations made against him were “false” and “a desperate attempt to distract and deceive the voters” by Dominguez’s campaign.
The campaign provided food at “educational campaign events,” Sigcho Lopez said, but the allegation that they were buying votes is “absurd.”
Sigcho Lopez and Dominguez are among five candidates seeking to replace disgraced — and missing — Ald. Danny Solis, who allegedly wore a wire for the feds. The other candidates in the race include Alex Acevedo, Aida Flores and Troy Hernandez.
Mah has endorsed Dominguez in the race.
In 2015, Sigcho Lopez accused Chinatown nonprofit Chinese American Service League of engaging in electioneering on behalf of Ald. Solis,who he was running against.
In that case, Sigcho Lopez claimed the nonprofit was attempting to influence Archer Court residents through free meals, bus rides and vouchers, effectively “buying” votes for Solis.
At the time, Chinese American Service League President Bernarda “Bernie” Wong called allegations completely unfounded.
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