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.
Synthesizing the research shows that at the very least, the equipment would have to be re-approved before the November 2014 elections. However, I believe there is compelling evidence to argue that the 2 year interim approval authorizing the system has already expired.
This letter was sent to the Illinois State Board of Elections, the Chicago Board of Elections and David Orr, Cook County Clerk. As a result, we testified at the Chicago Board of Elections meeting September 26th. The video of this will be posted today. The outcome is that the Commissioners are also waiting for an answer from the Illinois State Board of Elections. The Illinois State Board of Elections have approved this item for their October 22nd Board meeting.
In the meantime, Illinois State Board of Elections legal counsel has stated that the interim approval in 2012 included the current system, however we dispute that based on prior Board rulings on earlier versions of the system and because the Image Cast system, while approved until September 2014, is a separate voting system that is not in use. It does share some components of the voting system in use in Chicago and Suburban Cook County, but it is different.
I have also sent a follow-up letter to the Illinois State Board of Elections. We will keep you updated on this as it evolves.