The Director's Desk
Greetings from Defend the Vote!
I am Sharon Meroni, the Founder and Director of Defend the Vote. My blog will update readers on critical information about Defend the Vote and about election security issues.
Editor's Note: Noah Praetz responded in writing admitting he had sent out incorrect data. This data should have been publicly available before October 29th.
The voting is on Friday!
He is now using his own error to excuse why he will not send us the list of nursing home judges for Suburban Cook County.
Consequently, at this moment, there is ZERO oversight on the nursing home voting. We will fight this today (Wednesday)
Simply, we need help. If March predicts November, 3000 voters in Cook County will be unprotected on Friday.
Who will protect these votes?
From: Sharon Meroni
Sent: Monday, October 29, 2012 8:44 AM
To: Noah Praetz; Clem Balanoff; David Orr; Jan Kralovec
Subject: UNLAWFUL? NURSING HOME - Legal ALERT
UNLAWFUL VOTING ALERT:
I have blended the nursing home data and see that there are two nursing homes scheduled to vote today. This original data came from Noah and is attached. (Draft Assignments, NH1026, Nursing Home Set A, and Participating NH) I have blended the data and attached that. (NH 10 26 2012 – Vote Totals – PUBLC in excel or in pdf)
Nursing home voting takes place on Friday, November 2nd, 2012 through Monday November 5th, 2012. To conduct it at any other time is clearly unlawful and is contrary of the rights of the nursing home patients.
Partisanship in elections is simply part of the equation in Illinois. Are there boundaries for Cook County election officials?
Illinois security is based on a partisan security model. In Cook County (excluding the City of Chicago) Suburban Cook County Elections are run by elected Democrat Cook County Clerk, David Orr. David Orr has selected Clem Balanoff to run elections for over 2 million voters in Cook County. Clem is the Executive Director of Elections. The many photos lining his office provide a long historical line of his meetings with big political names.
Okay, I get that… When you visit Clem’s office, he proudly displays multiple photos of partisan events which memorialize his experiences... I get that Clem would have these photos in his office. (Though, I haven’t check the legality of it)
Where is the line? Shall we draw the line at Clem participating in and being a part of Obama’s 2012 campaign team? How about volunteering for his campaign and posting the pictures on his facebook profile? Does this cross the line?
Remember, Clem controls what goes on in Cook County elections. Every time I am blocked for critical data related to the security of these elections, (lately, a daily event) I am legitimately concerned… Are the constant blocks to influence the Obama campaign?
I genuinely pose this question, based on my experience. Does the motive for Suburban Cook County to block our access to key data have traces of partisanship? These blocks include blocks on election judge assignments and a refusal to secure the most vulnerable voters in Illinois, the nursing home residents.
From: Sharon Meroni [mailto:
Sent: Thursday, October 25, 2012 11:24 AM
To: Steve Sandvoss; Menzel, Ken
Subject: Electioneering at the Illinois State Board of Elections
I visited the Illinois State Board of Elections offices on Tuesday of this week. At that time I lodged a verbal complaint with Mr. Menzel.
In order to do ANY business with the Board in the Chicago office, one must stop at the Reception Desk.
At this desk, a ISBE employee is openly electioneering without any reproach from the Board. He is a supporter of Obama’s campaign and accordingly, wants to make a statement to everyone his desk greets. This is completely unacceptable. It is open electioneering at the State Board of Elections during voting.
Please have this photo removed today, and any others that display the intent to express support for a candidate and that is viewable by the public during election season.
Accordingly, make a Board HR policy that reflects this.
Please send me email confirmation this picture has been removed today.
Illinois Election Security Report
“We are changing the perception of Illinois having the most crooked voting system
while working to develop “Best Practices” for election security in Illinois.” Jack Roeser
Early Vote: In 2010, Jack Roeser contributed to a program that trained and deployed lawyers and pollwatchers in Chicago and Suburban Cook County. This program deployed pollwatchers to monitor all 50 of Chicago’s early voting sites. As a result of evidence uncovered, Chicago made significant changes to how early voting is conducted (see #6). Much work remains to be done.
Election Security: In 2011, investigations penetrated deep into Chicago elections, uncovering sufficient evidence to prove sloppy (at best) administration of elections.
Non-Citizens Running Elections: In 2011, investigations proved 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 were not compliant with federal law.
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 public post election 5% audit.
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.
I was recently appointed to chairman of a new committee, the Cook County Republican Election Integrity Committee. This committee was formed by Cook County Republican Chairman, Aaron Del Mar. In addition, Trudy Barrie has been appointed Vice Chair of Cook County Elections and Evelyn Reid as Vice Chair of Chicago Elections. Both Trudy and Evelyn have the awesome responsibility of recruiting Republican election judges for Cook County and Chicago. In addition to election judges, the Committee will oversee other work related to election integrity.
- Voter Access and Election Security is for ALL Voters
- Can a Lawsuit Be Avoided?
- Getting Ready for the Primary Elections
- Tuesday, February 7th
- Our Latest Updates on Court Cases
- Happy New Year
- TONIGHT in Crystal Lake - Join us!
- It is Moot! Decision in Meroni V ISBE -
- Is Early Voting Secure?
- Defend the Vote Welcomes Doc Walls
- Chicago Board of Elections is "Wholly Inadequate" in Protecting the Vote!