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.
Illinois Election Security Report
2011-2014: Watchdog for election reform in Illinois.
Projects and Accomplishments: 2011-2014
- Non-Citizens Running Elections: In 2011, our investigations proved some early voting sites in Chicago were being operated by non-citizens. Subsequent follow up FOIA investigations proved that the employment I-9 records for 75% of the employees running Chicago early voting sites were not compliant with federal law, including some of the forms for the alien workers.
- Election Day Audit: In April 2011, we conducted an audit of the security practices of Chicago’s polling places. We uncovered that out of the 239 precincts scored, the ballot box was unsealed 139 times. In October 2011, the report detailing this audit was peer reviewed and published in Argonne National Laboratory’s Journal of Physical Security. Vulnerability Assessment and Security Audit of Election Day Polling Place Procedures for the April 5, 2011 Municipal Elections in Chicago, Illinois
- Election Board Testimony, 2011 – Present: Defend the Vote regularly testifies and appears before the Chicago Board of Elections and the Illinois State Board of Elections, which has successfully advanced positive change for Illinois’ voting environment.
- Early Voting Audit: In 2011, investigations proved Illinois does not audit early voting returns. Our investigations inspired a July 4th, 2011 change in Illinois law: in 2012, for the first time ever, election jurisdictions are required to include early voting machines in the post-election 5% audit.
To follow-up on what happened at the Board meetings on Tuesday October 21st.
Recap: IN 2013, Defend the Vote conducted a FOIA investigation of how the Chicago Board of Elections secures the early voted ballots (both the paper copy printed by the machine and the USB memory device which saves the record of the vote). This FOIA proved that there was no verified chain of custody, literally! The ballots were moved from the early voting sites to the CBEC without anyone assuring that they were locked and sealed before leaving the early voting site, during transport to CBEC offices at 69 West Washington, or once arriving at the CBEC offices. We presented our results to the Chicago Board of Elections and were promised on multiple occasions that new procedures to secure the vote would be put in place. Each time we requested a copy of these new procedures we were told to wait... they were coming. Finally, unable to wait any longer, we appealed to the Illinois State Board of Elections right before their October 21st Board meeting to assure the early voted ballots in Chicago are secured.
On Tuesday afternoon, there were two Board meetings; the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners (CBEC) and the Illinois State Board of Elections (ISBE). Both took place during the same time frame. Logistically, there was a small chance I could make it to both, but I had to go to the ISBE meeting, first. On the agenda was the HAVA complaint filed in late August. During this Board meeting, the ISBE and I agreed to work to set up an "alternative dispute resolution" process and are currently looking for the correct legal group to serve in the role of assisting to resolve the HAVA complaint.
The letter I sent to the Illinois State Board of Elections is in this article: Loosy Goosy Security on the EV Voted Ballots.
On Tuesday, right before I spoke, the ISBE approved Ken Menzel as the new General Counsel to replace Steve Sandvoss, who is now the Executive Director. General Counsel Menzel's first job following his appointment was literally to run to the Chicago Board meeting (which was still in session across the street) and to have them provide evidence that the early voted ballots are secured. Many of the ISBE Board members displayed concern and wanted immediate answers!
Editor's Note: 11-5-14 Poll book problems were wide spread during the 2014 November elections in Suburban Cook County and in Chicago. The books would not upload the signatures. This caused many judges to wait for hours at the polling booths as they tried to get set up for the elections. Phone lines to both Chicago and Suburban Cook County election officials were busy and dropped calls after the judges waited long periods of time to speak with these election officials to get help. We received reports as late as 11 pm on Election Day eve that polling booths were not ready for the morning because they were unable to upload the poll books.
From the Illinois Review: Friday, October 24, 2014
Editor's Note: November 5, 2014 - When voters attempt to vote and the electronic machine switches votes, that is considered a voting system error. The Federal government sets permissible error rates of 1 per 500,000 ballot positions. Assuming these errors are caused by calibration related issues, this is not considered a voter's error. It is a system or machine error. Rock Island voters should be very concerned about these reports especially because there were so many of them. Rock Island's next step should be to FOIA all of the repair reports from this election for these machines.
From the Illinois Review
Rock Island County Clerk defiant, lashes out in Facebook posts
ROCK ISLAND, IL - KWQC TV-6 reported yesterday about several complaints of electronic voting fraud with the early voting machines in Rock Island County.
Rock Island County Clerk Karen Kinney (D-Rock Island) offered no comment to the media about the allegations, but did take to Facebook last night to silence any criticism, calling the formal complaints "lies, & more lies" and accusing those who filed complaints of "making false allegations to suppress the vote."
The Schilling for Congress campaign reached out to the Illinois State Board of Elections on Friday to report the situation. The State Board of Elections made contact with the Rock Island County Clerk's office and recommended re-calibrating the early voting machines. As of yet, there is no evidence that a full re-calibration has occurred.
According to a press release, the Schilling campaign has now received more than 20 reports from voters who have had their vote switched on the electronic voting machines. Several formal complaints have been filed to the Rock Island County Clerk's office.
Yesterday, the Schilling campaign also heard from a voter who went to early vote at the County Clerk's office and was turned away after requesting a paper ballot.
Jon Schweppe, communications director at Bobby Schilling for Congress, released the following statement:
"Every vote matters. Every vote should be counted. Karen Kinney needs to stop victim-blaming on Facebook and start working to fix the faulty machines. Voters in Rock Island County are quickly losing faith in the legitimacy of our elections, and that's unacceptable. The Rock Island County Clerk needs to do something immediately."
From the Illinois Review.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2014
Editor's Note: I fixed a typo and noted it in the comments.
Defend the Vote - via Sharon Meroni- filled a HAVA complaint against the Dominion/Sequoia electronic voting machines currently under fire in Suburban Cook County (Illinois) for switching votes from the Republicans to the Democrats. We filed two complaints on August 22nd, 2014. These machines (Edge Plus 2 and the 500c) are also in Nevada and were reputed to do the same thing in the last Harry Reid 2010 re-election bid; switching votes from Sharron Angle to Reid.
This complaint was before the Illinois State Board of Elections earlier this week, on Tuesday October 21st. The next step is we go into a process referred to as "alternative dispute resolution". Within a couple of weeks, the complaint will move forward.
To understand how HAVA complaints are processed in Illinois, you can read about the process on the JCAR website.
This is meant to be a very brief update to link the public to our filings.
The next step in the process is an independent organization must be selected to review Meroni's complaint. Two were filed. Both Meroni and the ISBE will select this arbitrator.
Editor's note: HUGE SUCCESS! Following a couple of interesting Board meetings, Chicago has completely revamped their procedures. We will update this post with the new rules.
Sent: Tuesday, October 21, 2014 9:21 AM
Cc: Steve Sandvoss; 'Joan T. Agnew'; 'James Scanlon'; 'Mr. Lance Gough'; 'Borgsmiller, Rupert'; 'Jesse Smart'; 'Charles W. Scholz'; 'Menzel, Ken'
Subject: Loosy Goosy Security on the EV Voted Ballots in Chicago
Good Morning Chairman and Commissioners:
I intend to lodge a formal complaint with the Illinois State Board of Elections today regarding the following:
Defend the Vote found and reported to the Chicago Board of Elections about serious irregularities in how this Board maintained custody of the early voting VVAPT scrolls and the memory devices that hold the electronic ballot. On July 26th Lance Gough said at the Board meeting these serious deficiencies had been corrected. He said he would send the revised procedures to the Board and to me. Silence ensued.
Following the last Board meeting, I specifically approached Chairman Neal to inform him I have not received any updates on these alleged “New Procedures”. Again, silence.
The protection of the voted ballot is mandated in Illinois Law. This Board has a duty to secure the voted ballot and to have transparent procedures on how it does so. To date, to my knowledge, this Board fails on both duties.
Director of Defend the Vote
What good is a law when it only impacts one election? Pat Quinn recently signed HB0105 into law, which changes election code only for 2014, so the question has to be asked; why does the November 2014 election need special laws?
Farewell to Illinois's Election Integrity Pioneer, Jack Roeser
With great sorrow, I say good-bye to one of Illinois’s finest citizens. Jack (John Otto) Roeser returned to God early this morning. Born in 1923, Jack served in the Army, raced in the Chicago Mackinac, and built Otto Engineering, a successful state-of the art business located in Carpentersville, Illinois. With over 50 patents in his name, Jack never stopped improving our world. I knew Jack long after he had accomplished so many of these feats. As a devoted conservative who funded many political campaigns, Jack has been a guiding force for Republicans across Illinois for decades.
For me, personally, Jack was a mentor. He was truly the election integrity pioneer in Illinois. As the guiding force behind Defend the Vote, Jack is responsible for inspiring us to continue our fight to get an honest vote in Illinois. I was blessed to sit with Jack as we worked to secure the vote; particularly in Chicago and Suburban Cook County. When I was frustrated or confused, his wise counsel guided the way. Jack and I shared a commitment to set up “Best Practices” in elections for Illinois and to rid this state of corrupt elections and of the flawed electronic voting machines. Our mission has always been to correct deficient processes securing the vote rather than focusing only on catching fraud.
Jack’s support was not just in words. He made funding the important work of Defend the Vote one of his top priorities. It was Jack who funded and inspired the many audits that we have conducted on election systems in Chicago and Suburban Cook County, and which have been so successful in making significant changes in the integrity of the vote in Illinois.
One day in 2012, Jack came to me about the theft of the vote from our most vulnerable residents, those living in nursing homes across Cook County. The mission he gave us was to change the practice of only one party overseeing the nursing home vote in Suburban Cook and Chicago. We succeeded. Today, nursing home patients have both a Republican and Democratic Judge of Election assuring their vote is accurately administered and counted. Jack cared about everyone, but especially those in need of protection.
Jack is the true pioneer of election integrity in Illinois. After the dust settles, I will find a way to assure that Defend the Vote is dedicated to his memory and most importantly to his values and goals. Now with God and his angels, I trust our beloved Jack is busy organizing them too, with both humor and precision.
Rest in peace, Jack. We thank you for your long service and for your leadership in fighting to achieve an honest vote in a state with a global reputation for election fraud.
- Table of Contents
- Extends In-person Absentee Voting Through Election Day at Universities
- 2014 - Register and Vote Grace Period On Election Day
- Time Off From Work to Serve as an Election Judge
- Election Day Voter Registration CAN BE Cast as a Provisional Ballot
- Apply for an Absentee Ballot 90 Days Before the Election
- Changes Definitions and Requirements for Early Voting Polling Places
- Extends Early Voting Dates and Times
- Removes Requirements for Photo ID During Early Voting Only in 2014
This article presents the portions of HB0105 which address the security of the ballot in Illinois. This is a follow-up from Will Election Day Voter Registration Sneak into Illinois Law? This technical article separates each change by sections so the reader can easily review them. Before each section, I have written a short paragraph to put the change in context.
House Bill0105 was approved in the House and Senate of the General Assembly on May 30th, 2014. It is currently on Governor Quinn’s desk. If you want a clean and secure vote in November of 2014 and oppose Governor Quinn changing Illinois election law right before he tries to get re-elected, make sure your voice is heard! This Bill, if signed, is repealed on January 1st, 2015.
Can this be stopped? Illinois voters can help stop Election Day voter registration from being snuck into the election code by calling Governor Quinn’s office in Springfield at 217-782-0244 and in Chicago at 312-814-2121. Tell him that you don’t approve of politicians who change the security of your vote for their own potential political gain.
Will Election Day Voter Registration Sneak into Illinois Law? Will Quinn Change Election Security Just for the 2014 Elections?
How can the vote be stolen? In our modern world, the iconic image of someone slipping extra ballots into the ballot box on Election Day seems outdated, yet that’s exactly what some Illinois politicians are trying to do for the November election.
On late Friday evening, May 30th, HB0105 was passed by the Illinois General Assembly out of the public’s discriminating eye; a common tactic for Illinois government over the last few years. The November election features businessman Bruce Rauner (R) going head to head with Governor Pat Quinn (D), who now has a bill on his desk that will make stealing the vote as easy as stealing candy from a baby.
House Bill 0105 attempts to impose Election Day voter registration on Illinois exclusively for 2014 without public debate. If signed by Governor Quinn, there will be no requirements for anyone to show photo or state issued ID if they register to vote on Election Day in November. The bill also extends early voting by one day and grace period voting through Election Day. Unbelievably, those who register to vote on Election Day can cast a ballot, which is counted at 7pm on Election Day, before anyone has had a chance to verify the new voter’s registration.
Filed under the Public University Act, HB0105 mandates that each public university[i] maintains an in-person absentee polling place where students can vote in-person absentee ballots on Election Day. HB0105 also requires every election jurisdiction to offer Election Day voter registration at a permanent polling place through Election Day. Anyone can register to vote with a fake lease, or any form of paperwork that has an address on it, and no one will know it’s fake until after the ballot has been cast and counted.
That’s right; Governor Quinn is contemplating signing a bill which allows Election Day voter registration without requiring any verification of ID provided at the moment of registration.
- Provisional Voting - DTV Victory For Illinois
- Sharon Meroni Re-elected to WTTW (PBS) Board
- Illinois Law Disenfranchises Thousands of Votes
- Provisional Voting: CBOE and Defend the Vote
- Madigan's Voter Integrity Suppression Amendment - Have You Seen It?
- The Disaster About to Happen In Illinois Elections
- Provisional Voting in Illinois Comments to Part 218 – Counting of Provisional Ballots
- 4 County Assessment
- 4 County Assessment - Field Notes
- Check Those Election Seals!
- Is Chicago Finally Dumping Substandard Voting Equipment?
- Judges of Elections
- Can Anyone Get a Fraudulent Ballot in Illinois?
- Illegal and Uncertified Voting Systems in Chicago and Suburban Cook County
- Election Machines in Chicago and Cook County Not Legally Certified - Round 3
- Explosive Letter Detailing the Illegal Use of Voting Systems in Illinois
- Illegal Voting Systems In Illinois? ISBE Attempts To Defuse Truth
- Uncertified & Illegal! Election Board Letter Proves Cook County Election Equipment Used for the 2012 Presidential Election is Not Legal!
- The Nightmare of Provisional Voting in Illinois
- What is a Vulnerability Assessment?