Defend the Vote in 2015



Illinois Election Security Report
Watchdog for election reform in Illinois.

Defend the Vote Projects: 2015 

  • In-precinct Election Day Voter Registration: SB172 is dangerous and ill-conceived:Legal research and related actions to protect the integrity of the vote:
    • According to the General Counsel of the Illinois State Board of Elections, SB 172 permits in-precinct voter registration without photo ID. The ballot is cast as a regular ballot, not as a provisional ballot.
    • The bill changes the way election judges are hired to decentralize the hiring processes.
    • More – We have not fully analyzed the law yet. This is top of the list for January!
    • We will consider many options related to this bill. 
  • HAVA Complaint: Help America Vote Act (HAVA) requires that voting systems pass error testing rates set by the 2002 Federal voting system standards.  The HAVA complaint details how the machines used in Cook County did not pass these tests and also do not meet mandates in Illinois law for having been lab certified.  
  • Military Veteran Election Judge Recruitment: This long-term program promotes working with veterans and related organizations to recruit and train military veterans to be Judges of Election for both political parties. This program will work state-wide and will encourage disabled veterans to participate. 
  • Minority Outreach: Our program will open offices in minority neighborhoods in Chicago to encourage voter awareness and the recruitment of in-precinct Judges of Election and poll watchers.
  • Voter and Election Judge Education: In 2015, Defend the Vote will continue to provide information and educational resources about polling place security and the development of a security culture in each polling place. This program provides information about election security to the public through live-events, radio shows, videos, newsletters, web-based forums, and blog articles. 
  • Absentee Voting Project: This project includes a follow-up investigation of military, nursing home, and detainee voting processes and procedures in advance of the 2016 elections. This project follows-up on earlier successful investigations. Changes in the law have set forth procedural changes that should be assessed. 
  • Electronic Voting - Ongoing Assessment: Defend the Vote is investigating voting systems in Illinois. While our 2013 investigations began in Cook County, there are other voting systems in Illinois we have received complaints about. This program will investigate concerns about the accuracy of the aging voting machines used across Illinois. 
  • Counting Ballots before the Polls Close: Our 2013 investigations found that the vote totals for absentee ballots in Suburban Cook County were available the night before the election. We proved the practice of tallying early votes and absentee votes before Election Day is quietly done in many locations in Illinois. Our next step is to prove that when the machines tally the vote, they are counting it. We have a plan.
  • Statewide Election Security Assessment: In March 2012, we initiated a pilot program to ask voters to assess elections across all of Illinois. Pollwatchers, election judges, and voters scored their precinct on various security measures and sent in alerts about Election Day problems. This program is unique because each scoring sheet was individualized for the various 110 election jurisdictions in Illinois. The project was shelved due to funding priorities, but is ready to beta test before the 2016 elections. 

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