Local control, out of control

Last month, when Chicago's South Loop School held elections for its local school council, voters were surprised to witness "a ‘smelly' crew of disheveled men, some reeking of alcohol," punching ballots. The situation further deteriorated when one man asked the school's principal, "Where do we get our five dollars for voting?" Some foul play was afoot. It was no surprise, therefore, when Enrique Perez and Jacques Eady (who ran for the council as a team) were both elected and subsequently accused of buying votes of "addicts, users, and alcoholics" who live in a flophouse near the school. Flophouse resident Renee Day told authorities he and several housemates were offered five dollars each to vote for Perez and Eady. Day, however, "realized he did something wrong ... so he voted for the opposing slate." Some current council members want the election totals invalidated, but because the Illinois School Code makes no mention of vote-buying, the results may stand-local control at its finest.

"Were addicts given $5 for school votes?," by Rosalind Rossi, Chicago Sun-Times, May 20, 200