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?
- 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.
I apologize if my last article was over complicated or confusing. Communicating details about election security can be challenging – the balance between detail and overview not always easy to juggle. This article (Illinois Law Disenfranchises Thousands of Votes) was based around the email from Ken Menzel, Deputy General Counsel for the Illinois State Board of Election (ISBE), and had three vital issues wrapped into one article: The radical revision of the Provisional Voting JCAR Rules following Defend the Votes comments; the counting of 500-1000 out-of-precinct Provisional ballots from the March 2014 Primary Election where the voter stated on a voter affidavit that he resides in the precinct but does not; and the issue of the forced “No” vote on constitutional amendments on all out-of-precinct ballots in the upcoming November elections.
This article provides a quick synopsis of the critical change to the proposed provisional voting rules after Defend the Vote took a stand on the issue and as described by Deputy General Counsel, Ken Menzel. This is only a partial analysis because we do not have the new version yet; just an email describing the changes. Thankfully, we did win a significant victory!
Legally, provisional voting is restricted to voters who’s right to cast a ballot is questioned and who are seeking to vote in their residential precinct on Election Day. After the election judge confirms the voter’s address is in the precinct, the voter must sign an affidavit attesting he resided at the residence for the past 30 days. Then the election judge is authorized to give a PV ballot to the voter.
At the April Board meeting, Defend the Vote’s Executive Director, Sharon Meroni, was re-elected to the WTTW’s Community Advisory Board. (CAB) First elected to the Board in April 2013, Ms. Meroni’s new term is for 3 years. In addition, Sharon Meroni was elected Chairman of the “Outreach Committee”. The Outreach Committee is a standing CAB committee responsible for encouraging and gathering feedback from the WTTW viewing community and forwarding that feedback to WTTW. In the Outreach Committee, Ms. Meroni anticipates the committee will reach out to the viewing community utilizing social media and other emerging technologies.
WTTW (PBS Chicago) is Channel 11, Chicago area’s popular public broadcasting channel. With a long history of successful programming, WTTW/WFMT remains ‘committed to creating and presenting unique content for television, radio, and digital media.’
Sharon Meroni, as Executive Director of Defend the Vote, feels that public programming is key to a healthy community. Stating, "WTTW/WFMT reaches into every precinct in Chicago and the surrounding areas. The Community Advisory Board is a diverse board which is genuinely enthused to reach out to the WTTW viewing communities to help assure WTTW programming continues to meet their needs and when appropriate, to tell their stories. I am appreciative for this opportunity to help direct this outreach as Chairman of the Outreach Committee and as a member of the Community Advisory Board."
Defend the Vote filed comments to the proposed provisional voting rules currently going through the legislative process for confirmation from JCAR (Joint Committee on Administrative Rules). This process requires the Illinois State Board of Elections (ISBE) to respond to Defend the Vote's comments. Then, they post revised rules, and we have one last response period. We are about to enter that 2nd period; it begins when the Board posts their revised rules. Deputy Counsel Ken Menzel noted in his email (see below) that the Board is ready to post these revised rules.
In the first round, our comments appear to have been successful in achieving their intended result. We argued that the proposed rules allowed for voters to falsely affirm in voter affidavits that they resided within the precinct when they do not. In fact about a 1000 ballots were counted in the March Primary where the voter falsely affirmed that they were residents in the precinct. These ballots were accepted despite the obvious conflict of fact.
After our comments, the Board has reduced the provisional voting process to require the voter to ‘believe they are in the correct precinct.’ The earlier version - which was in effect for the Primary - permitted voters to insist on their right to vote, and changed the meaning of provisional voting from being restricted to in-precinct voters, to allowing anyone to vote a provisional ballot within their county and municipality.
At the last ISBE Board meeting, Defend the Vote challenged the ISBE to identify if the 1000 affidavits taken by the out-of-precinct voters were fraudulently authenticated. These affidavits affirm that the voter lives in the precinct, so we effectively argued 'how could they get an out-of-precinct ballot?' The ISBE admitted they do not keep any records of out-of-precinct provisional voting, so we FOIA'd all the Illinois election jurisdictions and are now building that list.
Chicago Board of Elections meeting April 8th, 2014: This video proves that we are correct in many of our "comments to the ISBE rules" which we recently submitted to the ISBE. Tomorrow, we will be at the ISBE (Illinois State Board of Elections) Board meeting to follow-up on these rules.
A key point here is that the legislature will be tweaking the law to address flaws that our work uncovered. This is not necessarily good news.
The issue is out-of-precinct ballots and the affidavit the provisional voter must make. Defend the Vote maintains counting out-pf precinct ballots that have a false affidavit verifying the voter lives in the precinct is problematic and likely unlawful. General Counsel Scanlon says the State's Attorney would likely not investigate...
Stay tuned. We have much more to say about this. The summary report linked below provides a good summary of the issues.
We located the text to the House Bill HJRCA52, the so called voter suppression amendment pushed by House Speaker Madigan. Madigan's Bill passed the Illinois House on Tuesday with a bi-partisan vote of 109-5. It now moves to the Senate. Speaker Madigan apparently believes that people in certain classes could be denied the right to vote under his decades of leadership as the House Speaker.
Speaker Madigan states: “The intent of this constitutional amendment is to provide in Illinois, constitutionally, that voter-suppression laws would not be permitted,” said Madigan, D-Chicago. “Some might say, ‘Well, today in Illinois, you don’t need this. Voter suppression wouldn’t happen in Illinois.’
“We don’t know that,” Madigan continued. “We don’t know what the future holds. What we do know is we can constitutionalize the protection of the right to vote.”
The reality is, the right to vote is already protected.
Last July the Illinois General Assembly passed HB2418. This bill added a couple of sentences to the Provisional Voting Law (ILCS 10/5 18A) that is worded to permit the counting of votes for federal and state candidates which are cast provisionally as ‘out-of-precinct’ ballots. Rule 218 is the set of rules written by the Illinois State Board of Elections to implement these changes. Provisional voting has always been restricted to residents voting within the precinct in which they reside.
Why this new rule was tossed into HB 2418 permitting people to vote outside of their resident precinct remains unexplained. The impact of it, Defend the Vote warned voters in Illinois about this in the article "It's Kinda of a Disaster Waiting To Happen". Our analysis, however was just completed on Monday, March 31st. We delved deeply into every aspect of the Law (18A – Provisional Voting) and the JCAR 218 Proposed Rules written by the Illinois State Board of Elections (ISBE) in order to submit comments to JCAR (Joint Committee on Administrative Rules) and the ISBE.
Provisional Voting in Illinois
Comments to Part 218 – Counting of Provisional Ballots
This analysis is written to provide public comment on the proposed rules in Part 218 (Counting of Provisional Voting) found in Title 26 Chapter I: State Board of Elections. These proposed rules are known as JCAR 260218-1404328r01. The proposed JCAR rules were written by the Illinois State Board of Election. They are currently under Emergency Authorization by action of JCAR on March 19th, 2014. The Illinois State Board claims these rules are authorized by the passage of HB 2418 in July of 2013 and can be found in 10 ILCS 5/18A-15(b)(1).
- 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?
- Is the Voting System In Chicago and Cook County Legal in Illinois?
- "It’s kind of a disaster waiting to happen" State Board's Legal Counsel on Provisional Voting in Illinois
- Are There Stone Walls In Election Security?
- Voter Signatures in Chicago: Will Election Judges get too Empowered with Fraud Detection Training?
- Stopping Election Fraud - Are The Seals That Protect your Vote Secure?
- How are the Seals Protecting Your Vote Secured?
- Argonne National Labs: Election Security of the Chicago Board of Elections & Suburban Cook County Elections