Defend the Vote has finally been invited to speak before the Illinois State Board of Elections. On Wednesday, February 22nd, around 11am (or sometime there-after) the Board has invited Defend the Vote to speak about the report published in Argonne’s National Laboratory’s Journal of Physical Security last October. 


How did this invitation occur? On December 14th,  I sent this letter to the Illinois State Board of Elections. 


12-14-11 Letter to the Illinois Board of Elections Advising of Defend The Vote Audit



Initially I received no response.  Then, on Monday January 8th, while I was at the State Board of Elections in Springfield, Mr.  Rupert T. Borgsmiller, Executive Director of the Illinois State Board of Elections, stopped to introduce himself.  During our meeting he asked to schedule Defend the Vote to testify about our Chicago audit during the upcoming ISBE Board meeting scheduled for February 22nd.  


Mr. Borgsmiller said I could speak at the beginning of the public comment time and he was scheduling this time specifically for us, but wanted to confirm the date with me first I was thrilled to get a response to my request.  Naturally, I asked for more time, explaining that we needed 40 minutes, but Mr. Borgsmiller thought he could get us 15 minutes, maybe 20.  He would ask the Board for more…


Fast forward to late last week, Mr. Borgsmiller calls to confirm our time on the 22nd.  He says we can speak for 10 minutes with time for questions afterwards.  Disappointed with the brief amount of scheduled time, I none-the-less quickly agreed we would be there.  I did explain we plan to tape this board meeting and to invite the public.  I also expressed that we preferred to have more time.


The funny thing is, the Illinois State Board of Elections, posted their Agenda on Friday, and neglected to place the fact that we have been invited to speak on the agenda. Surprised, I figured it was an oversight.  I called Mr. Borgsmiller on Friday, asking him to amend the agenda.  He refused. 


Mr. Borgsmiller readily admits that he received special approval for Defend the Vote to testify on Feb 22, securing time for us to speak by agreement of all parties.  He decided not to include us on the agenda.  He justified his decision, saying it is because we are going to testify during the public comment section. 


Now let me get this straight...  Your agenda posts everything except the Board’s personal invitation for us to speak?  Why exactly? 


Let’s back up a little bit.  In April 2011,  Defend the Vote, along with Champion News (Publisher Jack Roeser), the Chicago GOP, and various tea party groups investigated how Chicago conducts their elections.  Our surprise audit scored 239 precincts on 11 security measures.  91% failed on one or more measures.  57% failed on more than one… and 139 times (59%) they failed to seal the ballot box.  Illinois statute requires the voted ballot remain sealed!


Our audit was peer reviewed and published in Argonne National Laboratory’s Journal of Physical Security.  Roger G. Johnston, Ph.D., CPP, is head of the Vulnerability Assessment Team (VAT).  Professionally, Dr. Johnston specializes in vulnerability and security; with a personal focus on seals and election security.  Dr. Johnston found the Chicago Board of Elections was “wholly inadequate" in providing ballot security!


I speak to groups across the state on a regular basis.  Generally, these groups allow 20-45 minutes for me to speak, and no one leaves because this research into Illinois elections is repetitive or boring.  You would think this study would gather some amount of interest from the Illinois State Board of Elections.  I pray a secret invitation to speak for 10 minutes is not reflective of their level of interest!


Today we will send out an appeal for Illinois citizens to join us on Wednesday.  Come to the Board, and register to express your experiences and feelings about ballot integrity in Illinois. 


I am informed that anyone from the public can come and sign in, asking to speak to the Board during the public comment section.  Bring your cameras, and invite the media. Come as individual, come as a candidate, come as a group!


What is going on in Illinois elections?  Tell us your stories, ask your questions.  Come listen to our report!


Your vote counts.  Or does it?  If you have some questions, Wednesday is one time you will be heard as you ask the Illinois State Board of Elections this question for yourself!







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