Over the years, politics have been given more and more attention in popular culture; simplified and dramatized in television shows like Parks and Recreation and House of Cards, as well as covered extensively by news outlets. Television shows and news stories about politics do so well with the public because people are interested in how their government is being run, and they’re looking for ways to get more involved with the process.
Having an effective security culture in election security starts with providing information to the voters about security related to the voting process in their polling places. This empowers the voter and ultimately increases their confidence in the integrity of elections. Defend the Vote and Argonne National Laboratory are working together to increase the security of Illinois’ elections by encouraging a security culture throughout the voting process.
Data research is central in election fraud investigations. Defend the Vote’s work with election data involves research to identify unusual voting patterns and other indications of fraud. Investigations include: voter registration rolls, multiple voting by one person, absentee voting, early voting, and nursing home voting. Forensic research helps to identify patterns before the next election.
Who Administers Illinois Elections?
The Illinois State Board of Elections oversees all elections in Illinois. There are eight Board members who are chosen by party leaders and approved by the Governor and the Senate; four from Suburban Cook County and four from elsewhere in Illinois, equally divided between the political parties.
Approximately 23% of the vote (1.5 mil in 2012) is cast through early voting. Early voting does not include absentee voting. Illinois law does not mandate that election judges oversee early voting, and many election jurisdictions use employees instead of election judges. In 2011, we documented non-citizen employees supervising early voting in Chicago.
How We Began
Defend the Vote was unofficially born in 2010, when our first investigations proved that Illinois election law does not check, nor allow anyone else to check, the citizenship of those running for any office in Illinois. Shortly after making this discovery, Sharon Meroni joined the Lawyers Coalition Team in an investigation of early voting in Chicago. The team proved Chicago was using non-citizens (including an open border activist) to run early voting.
Public Access to Election Code
Currently, Illinois laws do not protect the citizens’ right to transparent elections. The voting public, candidates, and the various political parties do not have access to the software code that controls the election equipment. Copyright protection for the manufacturers is the major justification for this lack of access and transparency. Defend the Vote questions whose protection is more important; the manufacturer or the public?
Election Seals and Keys Protecting Election Equipment
This seal is on the Equipment Supply Container (ESC) which contains all of the election equipment for a precinct in Chicago Illinois. How safe is this seal?
This question is one that Defend the Vote has been investigating along with the support of Argonne national Laboratory
Ediors Note: This report is lengthy and worth the read. How does your election jurisdiction keep track of the absentee ballots? Who oversees the process? When exactly are the ballots counted?
You can also download this file as a pdf file. It is a public file and can be shared. We ask that you link back to our website.
The key to ballot integrity is having a security consciousness reflected throughout the entire process. Our objective was to document the process of intake to tally of the ballots in Chicago and Suburban Cook County. Absentee ballots must be tallied at the main office of the election jurisdiction. Both offices are located (on separate floors) at 69 West Washington Street, Chicago.
The law that is primarily responsible for regulating nursing home voting in Illinois is 19-12.2. It is a short law that sets out the requirement that all votes must be overseen by a Republican and Democrat election judge. This law is widely ignored in multiple election jurisdictions across Illinois.
To read the law, click Read More.
With the way technology is growing these days, nobody should be surprised about the cyberattack identified in Florida during an August 2012 primary election. Or that’s what law Professor Candice Hoke, founding director of the Center for Election Integrity at Cleveland State University, seemed to be saying: “This has been in the cards, it’s been foreseeable,” she told NBC News.
On November 19th, 2012, Defend the Vote’s Sharon Meroni testified at the Illinois State Board of Elections board meeting. As part of her testimony, Sharon gave the Board members a letter outlining Defend the Vote’s findings from the recent November election; not all of it good, but she felt it was important to alert the election Board of the security oversights going on in their jurisdiction.
- Defend the Vote Deploys into the 2nd Congressional
- Argonne National Laboratory Publishes Defend The Vote's Work
- 81% Believe What?
- Voter Alert: Did You Vote Absentee in Suburban Cook County or Chicago?
- Report Voter Fraud
- Why Can't David Orr Protect These Voters?
- Why Does Suburban Cook County Elections Block Access to Key Election Data?
- Who Will Protect the Nursing Home Vote in Cook County?
- 80% of the Nursing Home Vote Unprotected in Cook County, Illinois
- It's LEGAL!
- Disenfranchised Voters - Our Military
- Photo Voter ID in Illinois?
- Photo ID is About Election Security
- Military Vote Disenfranchised, Why Does the DOJ Fail to Protect Their Vote?
- Election Reform in Chicago!!!!