Defend the Vote launched a handheld audit prototype on Friday, February 22; focusing on the nursing homes in the 2nd Congressional District. Auditors employed by Defend the Vote went around to nursing homes in Chicago, Suburban Cook County, and Will County and recorded their observations of voters and the voting process into a web-based audit questionnaire.
Nursing home audits involve pollwatchers visiting and evaluating a nursing home based on the overall voting experience. Without being a disturbance, Defend the Vote auditors observed the voters as they voted and interviewed willing voters after their ballot was cast.
Nursing home voting is scheduled to take place between Friday, February 22nd and Monday, February 25th in Illinois. Election administrators choose their own voting days based on need and availability; voting in Chicago took place on Friday and Saturday, and the other counties did their voting on Friday.
There are four counties involved in the 2nd Congressional District: Chicago, Suburban Cook County, Will County, and Kankakee County. The last, Kankakee, was a 2 ½ hour drive away with only nine nursing home residents to audit. With the Midwest snowstorm weighing in the balance, our auditors skipped that county and focused on the other three.
We are honored to announce that Argonne National Laboratories is partnering with Defend the Vote in our efforts to audit the State of Illinois. They are involved in synthesizing the data, and are participating in the audit review that will be released later this year.
With our first handheld audit a success, Defend the Vote is trucking into the future. Keep an eye out for developments of our Election Day Audit Form, launching on February 26th!