Chicago Board of Elections meeting April 8th, 2014: This video proves that we are correct in many of our "comments to the ISBE rules" which we recently submitted to the ISBE. Tomorrow, we will be at the ISBE (Illinois State Board of Elections) Board meeting to follow-up on these rules.
A key point here is that the legislature will be tweaking the law to address flaws that our work uncovered. This is not necessarily good news.
The issue is out-of-precinct ballots and the affidavit the provisional voter must make. Defend the Vote maintains counting out-pf precinct ballots that have a false affidavit verifying the voter lives in the precinct is problematic and likely unlawful. General Counsel Scanlon says the State's Attorney would likely not investigate...
Stay tuned. We have much more to say about this. The summary report linked below provides a good summary of the issues.
We located the text to the House Bill HJRCA52, the so called voter suppression amendment pushed by House Speaker Madigan. Madigan's Bill passed the Illinois House on Tuesday with a bi-partisan vote of 109-5. It now moves to the Senate. Speaker Madigan apparently believes that people in certain classes could be denied the right to vote under his decades of leadership as the House Speaker.
Speaker Madigan states: “The intent of this constitutional amendment is to provide in Illinois, constitutionally, that voter-suppression laws would not be permitted,” said Madigan, D-Chicago. “Some might say, ‘Well, today in Illinois, you don’t need this. Voter suppression wouldn’t happen in Illinois.’
“We don’t know that,” Madigan continued. “We don’t know what the future holds. What we do know is we can constitutionalize the protection of the right to vote.”
The reality is, the right to vote is already protected.
Illinois does not suffer from a problem of voter suppression. We suffer under a thousand pages of contradictory election law; laws written under Madigan's leadership which all too often provide insufficient security protections over the vote.
I have not had time to really think through the many implications of the proposed constitutional amendment. It could provide a duty to election officials in Illinois to provide a ballot in minor dialects of languages. Imagine the burden, and to misstep is a violation of the voter's Constitutional right!
The problem in Illinois elections is not voter suppression...
When proposed by legislators, a constitutional amendment needs a super majority of both bodies of the General Assembly. Constitutional amendments are only successful if voters vote "yes" by a 60% super majority vote of all those voting on the question or a majority of voters casting a ballot for any office in that election. The proposed provisional voting rules would also force out-of-precinct Illinois voters to vote "No" on the amendment.
Legislatures should focus on the security of the vote. When votes are stolen, it violates the civil rights of all voters. Here's a thought; add the right to an honest election to the amendment!
We will write more on this in the coming days. We have posted the amendment below.
Last July the Illinois General Assembly passed HB2418. This bill added a couple of sentences to the Provisional Voting Law (ILCS 10/5 18A) that is worded to permit the counting of votes for federal and state candidates which are cast provisionally as ‘out-of-precinct’ ballots. Rule 218 is the set of rules written by the Illinois State Board of Elections to implement these changes. Provisional voting has always been restricted to residents voting within the precinct in which they reside.
Why this new rule was tossed into HB 2418 permitting people to vote outside of their resident precinct remains unexplained. The impact of it, Defend the Vote warned voters in Illinois about this in the article "It's Kinda of a Disaster Waiting To Happen". Our analysis, however was just completed on Monday, March 31st. We delved deeply into every aspect of the Law (18A – Provisional Voting) and the JCAR 218 Proposed Rules written by the Illinois State Board of Elections (ISBE) in order to submit comments to JCAR (Joint Committee on Administrative Rules) and the ISBE.
Provisional Voting in Illinois
Comments to Part 218 – Counting of Provisional Ballots
This analysis is written to provide public comment on the proposed rules in Part 218 (Counting of Provisional Voting) found in Title 26 Chapter I: State Board of Elections. These proposed rules are known as JCAR 260218-1404328r01. The proposed JCAR rules were written by the Illinois State Board of Election. They are currently under Emergency Authorization by action of JCAR on March 19th, 2014. The Illinois State Board claims these rules are authorized by the passage of HB 2418 in July of 2013 and can be found in 10 ILCS 5/18A-15(b)(1).
March 19, 2014
Provisional Voting – Comments for the March 19th JCAR
This filing relates to the Emergency Rules which were implemented for the March 18th Primary election in Illinois. Due to the timing, this is a cursory review. The JCAR meeting is at 10am March 19th, on the morning after the election. A more complete review will be forthcoming shortly.
This video was made by Argonne National Laboratory to demonstrate just how fragile the seals protecting the voting machine’s memory devices are. This red seal is called a ‘tamper resistant seal.' Tamper resistant seals should (but frequently do not) show when they are disturbed. 'Tamper evident' seals do show if they were disturbed. Defend the Vote is asking Chicago, Suburban Cook County, and election jurisdictions across the state, to replace these vulnerable red seals for “tamper evident” seals.
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.
Judges of Election – Just how important are they to the security of your vote? For in-precinct voting, which is done on Election Day, probably the most important security measure for the overall integrity of the vote, is to have a strong bi-partisan Judge of Election team. In Illinois, election judges are assigned by the two dominant political parties based on pre-set legal formulas in a 2:3 ratio. When the political party fails to select the election judge, the election jurisdiction can (must) do so.
The way these positions are staffed in Illinois is to have the Party Chairman of each County approve the election judges. Generally the Committeemen in each precinct, township, or ward appoints the election judges. State-wide, the process to select election judges does vary somewhat depending on if it is a city or county based election jurisdiction. (i.e., Chicago is city-based, Suburban Cook is county-based)
The Republican or Democrat Party Chair also has a duty to build a "Supplemental Chairman's List" which contains extra election judges to fill in at the last minute. The election jurisdictions have a legal duty to go to these lists first when there are vacancies.
Can anyone get a fraudulent ballot in Illinois? The short answer is yes, and there are few if any safety measures to prevent or detect this kind of theft.
Here is just one flaw in the system. During every election, Defend the Vote is contacted by voters who report they were prevented from voting or had to vote on a provisional ballot because the poll book showed someone had already voted for them. As part of our goals for 2014, we have decided to research how frequently this occurs.
When we start an investigation, we look at many aspects of the problem to gain the needed information. Most importantly of all, we ask questions.
For example, does the State of Illinois or any of the 110 election jurisdiction keep track of voters who claim that someone voted for them? This can be a difficult question to answer because unless otherwise dictated by federal or state laws, each election jurisdictions sets their own policy; but we have come to suspect that no one keeps track of this type of voter fraud.
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.
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?
Today Defend the Vote has filed a formal complaint about the election equipment in use in Chicago and Cook County, asserting with documentation that Federal elections in November 2012, the Special Congressional election (Jesse Jackson's District), and the Consolidated Primary and the Consolidated General elections in 2013 were all conducted on illegal voting systems in Illinois.
Our objection lists significant issues which prevent further use of any part of the Dominion/Sequioa WinEDS 4.0 voting system for use in any election in Illinois. Defend the Vote also asserts that the Illinois State Board of Elections has knowingly permitted uncertified voting systems to be used in multiple elections in Illinois by Chicago and Suburban Cook County election authorities.
Our findings include: