EARLY VOTING ALERT:
The following information SHOULD shock you, regardless if you are from Illinois or any of the other states that offer Early Voting.
In Illinois and across the rest of the country, anywhere from 15-40% of the vote is now done by early voting. In Illinois, 18% of the vote is done through early voting.
Nationally, early voting is generally done electronically and as such, is different from absentee voting.  In Illinois, an absentee ballot is a paper ballot applied for, mailed to the voter, and returned to the election jurisdiction. Early voting is conducted for 16 days prior to Election Day and is done at centralized polling places; 1 per Ward or township. Polling procedures and equipment vary at the election jurisdiction level.
Electronic Ballots: Election fraud takes place where the offender has access to the equipment or materials, and where the process is concealed from the public view. That is where fraud takes place! With electronic voting, we don’t have access to the software code recording or counting the vote because it is considered to be proprietary code.
This is obviously shall we say… problematic… Many states have tried to answer this prickly problem of verifying the accuracy of the electronic vote by adding something called the voter verified paper audit trail. (VVPAT) When you vote, you see a printed report of your choices and, once approved, this becomes the paper record of your vote. This printed record is generally on a scroll attached to the machine and is retained in the machine until after balloting. In Illinois, it is legally a ballot.
This is “proof” of your vote, so that if anyone wonders if the electronic vote is accurate, there is a paper copy to assure that it is.
In Illinois, they tell voters we don’t have to worry about the veracity of the electronic vote because we have the voter verified paper audit trail - every vote that’s electronically cast has a paper copy… just in case…
But the shocking truth is that since we first began early voting in 2006, the process has never been audited to assure that the vote tallied on that VVPAT ballot is the same as the vote registered electronically in the vote total. Not once!
There is no comparison or reconciliation between the paper record of the vote and the electronic totals reported. So, whatever the verified voter paper audit trail is for, it’s not to secure that there is integrity between the vote cast and the vote total.
In Chicago, election cheaters no longer have to gather teams together to vote early and often in order to steal an election. All that is needed is to have access to the computer software that programs the machines.
But wait… it gets worse…
Proprietary Software Code: You would think that the political parties would employ someone to check the software code that’s programmed to go into the electronic ballot machines; you know the ones that are never audited for accuracy counting… Surely political parties have exercised their rights to assure the code is accurate by having it reviewed…They must have!
But, despite my best efforts, I couldn’t find evidence of any political party or independent group checking the software code. It is a daunting task. Consider that there are 11,215 polling precincts in Illinois, and each precinct has 2 to 7 different ballots. There’s a minimum of 20,000 - 25,000 ballots. How is this code checked for veracity?
Political parties around election time are usually spending money on Get Out the Vote (GOTV) campaigns, not checking software code.
This means that not only is Illinois not reconciling to make sure what they record as the vote is the same as what was cast on the paper copy, but there is no independent review process to make sure that software that’s recording and counting that vote—is accurate.
This is 18% of the vote in Illinois that has NEVER undergone public review. Incredibly, even in close contests when there is a recount, early voting is not included in the recount!
There is a reason. Defend the Vote will write later on why it is impossible to audit early voting.
Interestingly, after Defend the Vote began pressuring the Chicago Board of Elections about auditing early voting, the Illinois Legislature added a sentence to pending legislation changing the law to include a mandatory 5% audit of the early voting equipment…
Believe me, we don’t like that law. Technically, it’s impossible to audit early voting.
18% of the vote is completely hidden from ANY independent verification
So why even bother to have an election?
Solutions: We have action plans in place to conduct a citizen empowered national inquiry investigating the security behind early voting and the procedures governing the security of the early vote.
Defend the Vote is promoting a national campaign to evaluate the security protocols of early voting. While Defend the Vote personally cannot investigate each state before the 2012 elections, we can help to provide a template that citizens from other states can adapt according to their state's specific rules.
If you don't know about the security of early voting in your state... You can't assume it is protected.
Once we have gathered information from as many states as possible, we will put out a national report.
 Elections are run by the State’s and each State decides if and how they will conduct early voting.