HAVA Complaint and Electronic Voting

HAVA Complaint:

I will be writing more about the HAVA complaint the first two weeks of January 2015.  We filed the complaint in August 2014, and are currently entering into the mediation phase.  We are actively seeking funds to hire an attorney to take our complaint to the next phase.


Stay Tuned... More to come....




Electronic voting first took hold following the Bush 2000 election - the hanging-chad debacle. As if electronic voting machines were more accurate than hanging chads.... Few of us really trust vote counting that is done in the darkness of software code and in high tech computer rooms... where data access and data integrity too often becomes a matter of blind trust.


The GREAT news: Today, the voting systems machine industry is moving away from electronic voting machines and going back to optical ballot scanners with the related paper ballots. 


In Chicago and Suburban Cook County, they use a system which is currently owned by Dominion Voting Systems. The history of these machines has been reported on by Defend the Vote. Currently, of particular interest to Defend the Vote is that the machines were never certified as required by Illinois and Federal Law. Our HAVA complaint addresses this issue.


We are seeking to raise funds to stop the use of these machines, not only in Illinois, but also nation-wide. 



Watch this video if you ever wondered about  the security of electronic voting!


This is the second in a series of articles addressing the security of software code that is used to administer, count, and report votes in elections across the USA.  It is used in all or most of the voting districts in Illinois.  

This series is inspired and based off of the credible research done by Blackboxvoting.org which has obtained a l
egitimate copy of the GEMS application. Bev Harris and Bennie Smith have conducted the investigation into voting system software.  Blackboxvoting.org has posted Fraction Magic, a 6-part series on the subject, with more EXPLOSIVE information yet to come! Defend the Vote is taking the questions raised in these articles to the election authorities in Illinois. 


Part 1 (Does Software Counting Your Vote Have Embedded "Weighted Vote" Capacity?) responds to the research by Black Box Voting which concluded software code running various election systems used across the USA permits weighted voting.  This code is a default setting used to change the value of a vote (1) to a fraction.  For instance, a vote for candidate X can be set at .75 while allocating the value 1.25 to candidate Z.  Last week we sent a letter to the Illinois State Board of Elections seeking to have questions answered about various software systems used to administer, process, count, and report the vote in Illinois. 


We have received a couple of responses from Ken Menzel, the General Counsel of the ISBE and from the Executive Director, Steve Sandvoss.


Ken Menzel responded in an email and made the following statements:


“As to the fractional voting capability in the Dominion system, it is (as I thought) a fairly common capability in voting systems in general. Staff was aware, right off the top of their heads, that it is present in the Dominion, GEMS and Hart systems (i.e. the vast majority of voters use a system capable of fractional vote counting).


The only system it is approved to be used with (i.e. to have the feature enabled when running) is the Hart system. That is because the Hart system is used by Peoria County and there is a local district (if I recall correctly, it is a school district) that remains under an old federal court consent decree whereby cumulative voting is required (the type of voting that used to apply to the old 3 member district state representative system, which we discussed in our phone call).


The feature is not enabled in the Dominion or GEMS systems (and our staff can tell that from the reports generated when we do our system testing).  


If you have any further questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Ken Menzel

General Counsel

Illinois State Board of Elections

100 W. Randolph Street, Suite 14-100

Chicago, Illinois 60601”


This is very important news.  Through the General Counsel, the Illinois State Board of Elections has acknowledged that they are aware of the ability for various election software systems to process votes in a fractionalized format.  Indeed, his statement is that it is common in voting software and that the fractionalized voting system is enabled in the HART voting system (the ESlate) which is used in both Peoria and Kane County.


Speaking with Bev Harris, she reports she is about to release further documentation that provides concrete examples demonstrating how fractional vote counting software code opens a back door permitting undetectable and systemic voter fraud.


Keep in mind many states that use electronic voting systems do not have a paper trail that records the vote on a paper scroll and is a duplicate record of votes cast electronically.


Illinois lawmakers require a paper trail of all ballots cast.  If an electronic machine is used to vote, theoretically, a paper copy of the ballot cast is reviewed by the voter before leaving the election booth. The paper copy is stored on a scroll in the machine and should be an exact copy of the votes cast in the election.


Following each election, ILCS mandates that the State Board of Elections randomly select 5% of all precincts and 5% of early voting machines to be recounted by hand as an audit of the machines in comparison to the vote reported.   (ILCS 5/24C-15)  To be sure, we fully expect that the ISBE and various election jurisdictions will assert that the 5% post-audit conducted in Illinois would catch this type of software voter fraud.


Illinois 5% audit process is flawed and is not an effective tool for catching this type of fraudVerified Voting classifies Illinois 5% audit as deficient and in need of improvement.  We have personally witnessed some of the problems.  In a 5% audit we attended two years ago, we learned, when there was a discrepancy in vote totals, there is no legal mandate to discern why there is a discrepancy.  In one instance we witnessed an error of two votes in the recount of one precinct’s paper ballots. When the temporary workers could not figure why there was an error, they simply stopped checking, corrected the official vote total, and went on to the next precinct.  A follow-up FOIA investigation revealed that there was no effort by Chicago election authorities to find out why there was a 2 vote discrepancy in this precinct’s returns.  Without a legal mandate requiring investigations into vote discrepancies, election authorities don’t have to resolve causative factors for the discrepancy.


In an example from the 2016 primary, a group of observers supporting Bernie Sanders at Chicago’s 5% post-election audit noted multiple instances where workers performing the task of manually re-counting ballots from the early voting scrolls, knew what totals they should have while counting and would simply adjust their counts to match.  Further, they claim a discrepancy of nearly 20% in one precinct's vote totals.  We have not investigated or verified these particular claims, but note they demonstrates that the current audit process is fatally flawed!  In audits we have observed, we verify there is a lack of audit controls that compromises the integrity of the audit. More information about post-election audits can be found on Verified Voting.


General Counsel Menzel stated in his email that “The feature is not enabled in the Dominion or GEMS systems (and our staff can tell that from the reports generated when we do our system testing).”  In our follow-up, we will challenge that statement.  The ISBE only tests voting systems when there are changes requiring recertification of the voting system.  Generally, every 2 years or more. This type of testing does not catch fractional vote fraud which can be enabled in the middle of an election.


The second responses to our letter to the Board came from Steve Sandvoss, Executive Director of the Illinois State Board of Elections.  Sandvoss stated that the Chairman of the Board (Charles Scholtz) has refused to schedule this matter on the agenda for the Board meeting this Friday.  He has stated that the Chairman will permit us to speak during public comments, and that they will decide how long we are allowed to speak and if they want to take action.  By refusing to place our letter in the public record, Sandvoss and Chairman Scholtz block it from the records posted on their official site.


Having been before the sometimes hostile Illinois State Board of Election too many times to count… I view this response as typical!  Historically, the Board does not like to deal with the security of the vote in Illinois. They generally do everything they can to limit these types of discussions during their meetings, often refusing to respond as a tactic to minimize and frustrate the public’s concerns.


More to come! Friday is soon to arrive, so we shall soon see more of the Board’s response. 


In Part 3, we will reach out to every election district in Illinois to get answers to questions such as who has access to the software that runs their voting equipment.


Part 1: BREAKING: Does Software Counting Your Vote Have Embedded "Weighted Vote" Capacity?

This is the first in a series of articles addressing the security of software code that is used to administer, count, and report votes in elections across the USA.  The software code is part of the GEMS, WinEDS, and Hart voting systems that are used in all or most of the voting districts in Illinois.


This article was inspired and based off of the credible research done by Blackboxvoting.org, which has obtained a legitimate copy of the GEMS application.  Bev Harris and Bennie Smith have conducted the investigation into voting system software.  Blackboxvoting.org has posted Fraction Magic, a 6-part series on the subject, with more EXPLOSIVE information yet to come!  Defend the Vote is taking the questions raised in these articles to the election authorities in Illinois.


What is a fractionalized vote?  In the back end of the software, each vote is counted as 1 or as a fraction greater than or less than 1.  Someone wishing to change results in an election can quickly alter a vote by allocating different values to voters based on whatever parameter is desired.  For instance, in the back end, a vote for candidate X is worth .75, while a vote for candidate Z is worth 1.25. 


It has come to our attention that software programs that run various voting systems across the entire state of Illinois have code that allows for votes to be counted as weighted or fractionalized votes.  BlackBoxVoting research finds that the feature to count a vote as 1 (a whole number) or as a fraction is set to operate as a default setting for counting and that it can be turned on or off.  The time it takes to turn it on or off is literally seconds.  The research demonstrates that this weighted vote feature can be utilized without detection.


We want to know what security measures are in place to assure it is NOT being used.  


We have delivered this letter to the Illinois State Board of Elections.  On Monday, we will report about their responses.

What Value is Your Vote in Illinois?
by Defend the Vote on Scribd









Defend the Vote has studied and reported on the lack of security in the hardware of the Dominion Voting’s WinEDS voting system that is used in both Chicago and Suburban Cook County.  We have written about the system that is currently being cannibalized for parts.  We broke the story that the system is no longer manufactured because it could not pass the error testing required by the EAC.  We filed a HAVA complaint in 2015, which was eventually settled through mediation.  Now, new voting machines are being planned in Chicago for the 2018 elections…

At the end of May, the Illinois State Board of Elections met with Defend the Vote in a formal mediation process in an attempt to resolve Defend the Vote's two HAVA (Help America Vote Act) complaints. Defend the Vote fully achieved our objectives in the first complaint which addressed the timing of filing complaints for HAVA violations. On the second complaint, we achieved one point, and are now positioned to re-file a more specific complaint which will seek to require Dominion Voting and the Illinois State Board of Elections (ISBE) to test the current system as a “Blended System” rather than as a modification of the original Dominion/Sequoia WinEds electronic voting system that was purchased in 2005. 


The rules for mediation literally prohibit disclosure of details of the mediation process. However, as an overview, we can discuss the signed agreement which constitutes the results of the mediation and will be presented to the ISBE in August. I am sorry, I can only be somewhat specific on the decisions that were reached. Mediation has stringent rules pertaining to disclosure and we do not want to violate these rules. We will be able to discuss more of the specifics of the mediation after the Illinois State Board meeting in August.


HAVA Complaint 1: In the first complaint, Defend the Vote alleged that Title 26, Part 150 rules set by the State Board of Elections and JCAR (Illinois’ Joint Committee on Administrative Rules), were not compliant with HAVA requirements because they limited the filing of complaints specifically to 90 days following a violation. Our complaint asserted HAVA mandates that complaints can be filed before, during, and after a violation. We also complained that the time allowed to file was too restrictive. The mediation brought an agreement that the State Board would recommend the Administrative Rules be altered to allow for filing before, during, or after a violation occurs, and to double the allotted time to 180 days to file a complaint, both before a violation occurs and after it occurs. All changes in Administrative Rules must go through JCAR, so there will be a period of time when these changes will be presented and reviewed before finalization.


HAVA Complaint 2: The second complaint was not specifically resolved, however there is a signed agreement that, in advance of the 2016 elections, for the first time ever, the State Board of Elections will monitor the Dominion voting system in use in Cook County. This is significant because Chicago has recently gone public with statements that the electronic voting system recording millions of votes in Cook County is not going to be viable for the 2016 elections. (See video Rise of Electionstein)


In addition, Defend the Vote will withdraw the current complaint and replace it with a new complaint that will specify that the current voting system in Illinois has not undergone other required steps for state certification. This is because the system currently certified is a “blended system.” This blended system consists of two separate voting systems; Dominion/Sequoias’ WinEds and Dominion’s Democracy Suite. 


To clarify about “blended systems,” Defend the Vote’s research recently uncovered two important EAC (Election Assistance Commission) decisions that requires the separate testing and certification of blended voting systems be conducted by an independent laboratory. One way that the ISBE has been able to keep the current Dominion System in Cook County was because they have patched together a modification of the original system (from 2005) by blending two separate Dominion voting systems together in their interim certification (WinEds and Democracy Suite). They did this without having the new “blended system” tested, rather basing the 2 year interim certification on the separate testing done of the individual systems. 


These EAC decisions along with Illinois laws that require testing by independent labs of all voting systems provide a broader basis for Defend the Vote to present a much stronger HAVA complaint. This complaint will specify that the blended system currently certified in Illinois has not been independently tested by any laboratory for volume testing or for functionality. Both are required. This is important because Dominion Voting refuses to allow the current WinEDS voting system to be tested by an independent lab. Howard Cramer, the Executive VP of Dominion Voting, told Defend the Vote it would not pass the error testing requirements. 


In our upcoming HAVA complaint, Defend the Vote will argue that if the blended system cannot be submitted to an independent lab for volume and functional testing, then technically and legally Illinois cannot approve it for another two year interim agreement.  


More Shenanigans from the Chicago Board of Elections: In addition to this blended system that was approved by the Illinois State Board of Elections in August 2014, Chicago has recently blended into their cannibalized Dominion system their new ESS (Elections Systems and Software) poll books. Defend the Vote maintains this is an unlawful and untested adaptation to the Dominion system and it has never been reviewed or approved by the State Board of Elections. In the Electionstein video, the reason that the Chicago Board of Elections was apologizing for their exceptionally poor performance during the November elections was not because of Robo calls as they originally alleged, but because the untested integration of the poll books backfired and caused for extraordinarily long delays and in many cases the utter failure of the poll books.


We will not take our next complaint through mediation. It will go directly to a hearing process. We will file our complaint later in June and expect that it will promptly go to a hearing. While the mediation process was longer, our next step will require ISBE to take definitive action within 90 days. Should Defend the Vote not agree with the hearing results, the decision will be reviewed by Illinois courts later in the fall.


2015 is flying by, and Defend the Vote is working to get this blended voting system out of Illinois before the 2016 election cycle. Please support us with a donation.


Published on Jun 4, 2015

"Electionstein" is the name we've given to the election equipment that has been cannibalized from different voting machines by the Chicago Board of Elections. It was the root of the problems of vote switching reported during the 2014 elections, and will continue to cause trouble for voters if allowed to rise in 2016. The machines are old and they are no longer in production, so election boards are cannibalizing one machine to get parts for another.

The electronic voting system is called WinEds and is owned by Dominion Voting, who purchased it from Sequoia. This voting system has never been legally certified as having passed federal and state standards for error rates, as required by the Federal Help America Vote Act and by Illinois laws. 

In a close election, it only takes a few compromised election machines to throw the results one way or the other, and the Chicago Board of Elections is notoriously bad at staffing the legal number of election judges in the inner city locations. Go to http://www.defendthevote.com/hava-com... to read about some of the voting errors these machines have been caught making in past elections.

In 2013, we proved the Chicago Board of Elections had ZERO chain of custody on the transportation of the USB memory devices and the paper scrolls that recorded the early vote in Illinois. They also failed to seal these ballots. In advance of the 2014 elections, we changed that illegal practice, but before Defend the Vote got involved it was impossible to track whether the votes presented were actually the same votes cast by unsuspecting early voters across Chicago. 

Today, Defend the Vote is engaged in a heated battle to get this deficient voting system removed from Chicago and Suburban Cook County. The faulty voting system is being used in 11 other States, and our victory in Illinois could impact the use of these machines in many of these locations: Arizona (1 county), California (22 counties), Colorado (4 counties), Florida (2 counties), Missouri (32 counties), Nevada (Statewide), New Jersey (1 county), Pennsylvania (1 county), Virginia (35 jurisdictions), Washington (5 counties), and Wisconsin (1070 municipalities). Chicago competes with these other states to get parts.

Editor's note: The content used for this video is from the Chicago Board of Elections 12-01-14 Board meeting.  On our video clip, the first voice heard is Chairman Langdon Neal, then Commissioner Richard Cowen is heard, followed by Executive Director Lance Gough and then Commissioner Marisel Hernandez. Our clip concludes with Gough's apology for the failures in November's 2014 election.  The machines were not able to withstand the pressure of the 2014 elections and failed in part because of an illegal and untested integration with Chicago's new electronic poll books.  This discussion was about 2014 and 2016.  The full discussion can be seen at here beginning at 10:55.



This graphic is from Brad's Blog – The  2010's article’s title says it all: Exclusive: On Heels of Diebold/Premier Purchase, Canadian E-Voting Firm Dominion Also Acquires Sequoia, Lies About Chavez-Ties in Announcement: "Intellectual Property" of voting systems still owned by firm linked to Venezuelan President, despite press statements to the contrary.


 It might not surprise Chicago and Suburban Cook County voters to learn the Dominion/Sequoia WinEds system, comprised of the electronic voting machine called the Edge2Plus (AVC Edge) and the 400c central counting machine, failed to pass the error testing rate as mandated by HAVA (Help America Vote Act). More complaints about these voting machines pile in after every election. The error testing rate permits one error per 500,000 ballot positions. Defend the Vote uncovered that not only did the voting system not pass the error testing as required by Federal Law, but Dominion removed the machines from further testing and has discontinued manufacturing the WinEds system altogether.


This does not mean Dominion/Sequoia has stopped making a profit from the error-prone machines. Not at all! Nation-wide,Dominion/Sequoia has exclusive multi-million dollar contracts to provide support for various versions of the WinEds system. Essentially, Dominion pulled the machines from the testing process because they knew their voting system could not pass the error testing requirements, but they still make substantial corporate profits from servicing the defective equipment. Those are our tax dollars being sunk into the upkeep of a discontinued and insecure voting system. Even worse, these vulnerable machines are used to count over half of the vote in Illinois and somewhere around 30 million votes across the USA.

Dominion Makes MillionsDominion (Sequoia) Continues to Profit from Uncertified Voting Equipment in Illinois


Title 42 › Chapter 146 › Subchapter III › Part A › § 15481SEC 

Section 301

(5) Error rates.--The error rate of the voting system in counting ballots (determined by taking into account only those errors which are attributable to the voting system and not attributable to an act of the voter) shall comply with the error rate standards established under section 3.2.1 of the voting systems standards issued by the Federal Election Commission which are in effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.


Voting Systems Standards 2002 Volume 1 Performance Standards (Quote page 3-52)


d. For central-count systems (paper-based and DRE): Consolidation of vote selection data from multiple counting devices to generate jurisdiction-wide vote counts, including storage and reporting of the consolidated vote data. For testing purposes, the acceptable error rate is defined using two parameters: the desired error rate to be achieved, and the maximum error rate that should be accepted by the test process. For each processing function indicated above, the system shall achieve a target error rate of no more than one in 10,000,000 ballot positions, with a maximum acceptable error rate in the test process of one in 500,000 ballot positions.

Illinois Law requires all voting systems to be approved by an independent lab as having passed the error testing standards set by 2002 HAVA laws (Help America Vote Act). DTV research proved that in December 2013, the manufacturer of these machines, Dominion Voting, pulled them from the EAC’s (Election Assistance Commission) testing and approval processes after they failed the error testing rates in two separate independent lab testing programs. Dominion Voting decided not to undergo further testing and stopped manufacturing the machines.


Unfortunately, two jurisdictions in Illinois had already purchased the uncertified machines: Chicago and Suburban Cook County.


Consequently, we have filed a HAVA complaint against the State Board of Elections for allowing these machines to continue to be used in both Chicago and Suburban Cook County. Our objective is to have them replaced before the 2016 elections. In addition, these machines are used in the following other locations:

Read more: HAVA Update

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.


HAVA Complaint 1 - To Remove the 90 Day Restrictive Clause


HAVA Complaint - Dominion EdgePlus2 DID NOT Pass 2002 Voting System Standards


Read more: HAVA Complaint Filed Against Voting Machines in Chicago and Cook County

Defend the Vote has publicized the fact that the Dominion/Sequoia voting systems used in Chicago and Suburban Cook County have never passed the error testing requirements set out by the 2003 Voting Systems Standards as required by Illinois Law, and that there are HAVA compliance issues with these machines. (Yes, it’s sad but true; machines used nationally to count millions of votes were never federally certified.) We have challenged the validity of the current Illinois State Board of Election’s certification of these machines, and assert these machines cannot be recertified in Illinois before the November 2014 Governor’s elections. We alerted various authorities of these deficiencies and made sure to let budget departments so they can prepare to fund new equipment this Spring.


Defend the Vote raised the question of the Edge2Plus’s and the related WinEDS voting system’s certification with Howard Crammer, a VP from Dominion. To date, he has failed to produce any official document proving that the voting systems used in Chicago and Suburban Cook County have been certified by the EAC as passing Federal error testing requirements. The EAC is the government body that does this certification.

Read more: Is Chicago Finally Dumping Substandard Voting Equipment?

Defend the Vote has recently uncovered startling evidence that proves the voting systems used in Chicago and Suburban Cook County are not legally certified in Illinois. Voting systems are defined by Illinois Law as follows: “‘Voting system’ or ‘electronic voting system’ means that combination of equipment and programs used in the casting, examination and tabulation of ballots and the cumulation and reporting of results by electronic means.” (10 ILCS 5/24B-2)


Voting systems in Illinois must be certified by receiving approval from the Illinois State Board of Elections. Most voting systems are given “Interim Approvals” which lasts for a maximum of 2 years. Each Interim Approval is based on the version of the voting system that has been tested and approved.


Chicago and Suburban Cook use the Dominion/Sequoia WinEDS system, which has multiple versions of its 5 components. These 5 components include: WinEDS - the election management system that records, compiles, and reports vote totals from any election; Edge2Plus - a Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting machine that produces an electronic ballot with a paper ballot recorded as a scroll inside the machine;  Insight - an optical scanner that records the vote from paper ballots given to the voter; and the HAAT (Hybrid Activator, Accumulator, and Transmitter) which consolidates, tabulates, and transmits voter data. In addition, a 400c optical scanning machine is used to process absentee ballots.

Read more: Illegal and Uncertified Voting Systems in Chicago and Suburban Cook County

Over the last year, Defend the Vote has been researching the election systems in Chicago and Suburban Cook County.

We have uncovered startling evidence that proves the voting systems used in both jurisdictions are not legally certified in Illinois. The Illinois State Board of Elections’ refusal to acknowledge our claims was in full evidence during the October Board meeting, when none of the officials had a word to say after our testimony; but silence can be as telling as words. If we had no grounds to be challenging the election systems, wouldn’t they have told Defend the Vote to stop wasting their time?

Read the letter by clicking here.Election Machines in Chicago and Cook County Not Legally Certified - Round 3

Defend the Vote is investigating the voting systems used in Chicago and Suburban Cook County. As part of this investigation, we sent a protest letter to the Illinois State Board of Elections challenging the certification of the voting systems. State Board’s Executive Director, Rupert Borgsmiller, sent Defend the Vote a response including the chart below which lists when the election equipment was certified.

  1. Versions in Cook and Chicago

Cook County

Systems Tested and Approved

Dates Approved

Insight: K2.16.09.0716.1500 (HPX), K1.44.080501.1500 (APX)-

August 18, 2009/ September 15, 2010/ September 6, 2012

HAAT: 2.6.34

September 15, 2010

E2P: 1.2.67

August 18, 2009/ September 15, 2010

WinEDS 4.0.175

August 18, 2009/ September 15, 2010/ September 6, 2012


City of Chicago

Systems Tested and Approved

Dates Approved

Insight: K2.16.09.0716.1500 (HPX), K1.44.080501.1500 (APX)-

August 18, 2009/ September 15, 2010/ September 6, 2012

HAAT: 2.6.39

September 6, 2012

Edge2plus: 1.2.77

September 6, 2012

WinEDS 4.0.175

August 18, 2009/ September 15, 2010/ September 6, 2012

Read more: Uncertified & Illegal! Election Board Letter Proves Cook County Election Equipment Used for the 2012 Presidential Election is Not Legal!


Defend the Vote has been investigating the certification of Dominion/Sequoia election voting systems in Chicago and Suburban Cook County as part of an ongoing vulnerability assessment of elections in Illinois.  Our research has been exhaustive including searching through public records, FOIA, letters with election authorities and vendors, and engaging in conversations with various people who have an expertise in this matter.  We have also consulted with Dr. Roger Johnston from Argonne National Laboratory. 


While the matter is not officially resolved, it is our conclusion that the Dominion/Sequoia election equipment in use in Illinois is no longer authorized for use.  We also believe that as is, it cannot be re-authorized without special exception to Illinois election laws and Administrative Code that administrates those laws.  The system was never given final approval by an independent lab as required by Illinois code 10/ILCS/5/24C-16.



Read more: Is the Voting System In Chicago and Cook County Legal in Illinois?

Break Down the Stone Walls on Defnd the VoteThe Chicago Board of Elections meeting held on Tuesday, September 10th was intense, to say the least. Chairman Langdon Neal maneuvered things so Defend the Vote's Sharon Meroni could not publicly respond to or question the Executive Vice President from Dominion Voting, Howard Cramer. Public comments are normally taken at the end of the meeting, after we have heard from the Commissioners and the Board's management team, but last Tuesday things were different; they opened the meeting with public comments and told us it was because Mr. Cramer had to leave early to catch a plane. 


Unfortunately, catching a plane wasn't the real reason behind the change in policy. The Chicago Board of Elections didn't want Defend the Vote to speak publicly with Howard Cramer, and they were willing to change procedures to keep it from happening. After hearing from Sharon Meroni, the Board asked Howard Cramer to speak. When questioned by the Executive Director Lance Gough, Cramer denied that he had told Defend the Vote they could test any of their machines except for the DREs in Chicago and Suburban Cook County. When Meroni tried to address Cramer, Commissioner Langdon prevented her from speaking based on a 'rule' that he himself admitted he rarely (if ever) enforces.

Read more: Wheeling and Dealing at the CBOE: Another Stone Wall?


The security of the electronic machines used in Chicago is going to be discussed during the Chicago Board of Elections' meeting on Tuesday September 10th, beginning at 9am. The manufacturer of these machines, Dominion Voting (the Edge Plus II machines were formerly owned by Sequoia), has discontinued manufacturing them and now only carries optical scan voting machines. Defend the Vote has been trying to get the security of Chicago's and Cook County's election machines reviewed as part of a vulnerability assessment by the security experts at Argonne National Laboratory, and this upcoming Board meeting is an important step toward that goal. 


One fact you should know: Dominion Voting has said we can test any of their products, except the DRE machines that are used in Chicago and Suburban Cook County.


Read more: Are There Stone Walls In Election Security? 

All election machines use at least one seal to secure your ballot. Do these seals REALLY protect the vote or is it a window dressing that provides a false sense of security that the vote is secured?  Defend the Vote has partnered with Argonne National Laboratory to investigate the seals used to protect millions of votes in Chicago, Illinois.  Our investigations not only proved the seal is easily hacked, but also that Chicago Board of Elections leaves the seals unsecured out in the open, making them easily accessible to anyone with a motive to hack them.


Read more: Stopping Election Fraud - Are The Seals That Protect your Vote Secure? 

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?


Read more: Electronic Voting Is Not Secure

Calendar of Events

Defend the Vote
arrow leftarrow centerarrow right
  • February 2018

WTTW - Feed