Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Illinois State Board of Elections - Ken Menzel Memo in Response to Defend the Vote

Illinois State Board of Elections - Ken Menzel Memo in Response to Defend the Vote

Ratings: (0)|Views: 2,691|Likes:
Published by Defend the Vote
Response to my November 20, 2012 letter to the Illinois State Board of Elections.

Defend the Vote will respond at the ISBE Board meeting on Tuesday January 22. 2013. Join us!
Response to my November 20, 2012 letter to the Illinois State Board of Elections.

Defend the Vote will respond at the ISBE Board meeting on Tuesday January 22. 2013. Join us!

More info:

Published by: Defend the Vote on Jan 21, 2013


Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less





2329 S. MacArthur Blvd. BOARD MEMBERSSpringfield, Illinois 62704 William M. McGuffage, Chairman217/782-4141 TTY: 217/782-1518 Jesse R. Smart, Vice ChairmanFax: 217/782-5959 Harold D. ByersBetty J. CoffrinJames R. Thompson Center Ernest L. Gowen100 West Randolph, Suite 14-100 Judith C. RiceChicago, Illinois 60601 Bryan A. Schneider312/814-6440 TTY: 312/814-6431 Charles W. ScholzFax: 312/814-6485EXECUTIVE DIRECTORRupert T. Borgsmiller
Rupert Borgsmiller, Executive Director
Kenneth R. Menzel, Deputy General Counsel
Cook County and Chicago Board of Election Commissioners, Issues Raised byNovember 19, 2012 Defend the Vote Correspondence
January 17, 2013Defend the Vote submitted a letter dated November 19, 2012 making a number of newallegations, this time relating to the absentee ballot procedures of both the Cook County
Clerk’s office (“Cook”)
and the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners
.Additional items relating to polling place procedure and nursing home voting were raisedas to Cook. In all, this letter raised 8 allegations as to Cook and 3 as to Chicago.
The Defend the Vote letter was copied to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office (SAO
the Illinois Attorney General’s office (“AG”) and the US Department of Justice’s VotingRights section and the Chicago office (“DOJ”). The DOJ and AG offices have advised us that 
they do not have ongoing investigations of the matters underway. As of the date of thismemo, the SAO office has not yet responded to our status inquiries.Assistant Director Tenuto and I reviewed the matters raised, including contact with Cook and Chicago. As discussed in item by item detail below, our review of the matters found:(a) a couple relatively small points which the election authorities indicate have alreadybeen or would be simple to address for future elections; and (b) some Cook election judgestaffing and nursing home assignment items where it might be appropriate for staff to stayin contact with Cook to see how they play out over this current 2 year term of the electionjudges (and the selection for the next term). However, the staff did not find support for thebroad allegations that the jurisdictions are engaged in illegal conduct or deviations fromthe Election Code.Cook Item #1: Training ManualThe Cook Election Judge Manual directs the election judges to set up the polling placebefore Election Day, including (at Page 14) verifying the ballot box is empty and sealing it.In the directions for the 5:00 AM to 6:00 AM period on Election Day the Manual (at Page
31) instructs the election judges to “if asked, allow pollwatchers an opportunity to check 
equipment”. Cook advises us that judges’ school instruct 
ion amplifies on this to make clearthat such checking would include verifying an empty ballot box (see 10 ILCS 5/17-3), andappeared to be receptive to our suggestion of a small Manual revision to be clearer on thispoint.Cook Item #2: Separate Wrapping and Sealing of BallotsDefend the Vote asserts that Cook does not have its election judges return ballots from theprecincts in the manner set forth in Section 17-20 of the Election Code. Section 17-20directs the judges of election to hand total the results for each office, and telephone theresults to the election authority. It then goes on to provide specifics as to wrapping andbinding the ballots in paper covered bundles.
However, in jurisdictions using optical scanballots (such as Cook and the vast majority of Illinois election authorities), therequirements of Section 17-20 are superseded by Section 24B-10, which does not requiresuch bundling for optical scan ballots.
 Cook Item #3:
“Counting” Absentee Ballots Prior to 7:00 PM on Election Day
 Section 19-8(f) of the Election Code provides for counting of absentee ballots after 7:00 PMon Election Day.
However, some amount of processing, either by election judges or theelection authority, with respect to absentee ballots prior to counting is required underSection 19-8(g) of the Election Code.
A significant number of Illinois election authorities take the position that “processing”
covers all activities up to and including placing absentee ballots into the tabulators, and
that “counting” cons
ists of compiling the combined totals and printing the reports of the
In pertinent part, Section 17-20 provides:
After making such proclamation and before separating, the judges of all counties shall fold or roll all of the ballots which have been counted by them, except those ballots which have been in the ballot box buthave not been counted and marked "defective" or "objected to", securely bind them, lengthwise and inwidth, with a soft cord having a minimum tensile strength of 60 pounds, and wrap the same with heavywrapping paper on which the judges of election shall write their signature and seal the package withfilament over the signatures and around the package lengthwise and crosswise, at least twice each way, sothat the ballots cannot be removed from the package without breaking the seal and the filament tape anddisturbing the signatures, and enclose the ballots so wrapped, together with the envelope containing theballots marked "defective" or "objected to", in a secure canvass covering, which the judges of election shallsign and seal with filament tape as above specified.
In pertinent part, Section 24B-10 provides:
“The judges of election immediately shall securely lock the ballot box or other suitable box furnished for 
return of the ballots by the election official in charge of the election; provided that if the box is not of a typewhich may be securely locked, the box shall be sealed with filament tape provided for the purpose whichshall be wrapped around the box lengthwise and crosswise, at least twice each way. A separate adhesiveseal label signed by each of the judges of election of the precinct shall be affixed to the box to cover any
slot therein and to identify the box of the precinct…”
In pertinent part, Section 19-8(f) provides that absentee ballot counting:
on election day after the closing of the polls shall commence no later than 8:00 p.m. and shall beconducted by a panel or panels of election judges appointed in the manner provided by law..
In pertinent part, Section 19-8(g) provides:
within 2 days after an absentee ballot
is received,
the election judge or official shall compare thevoter's signature on the certification envelope of that absentee ballot with the signature of the voter on filein the office of the election authority. If the election judge or official determines that the 2 signaturesmatch, and that the absentee voter is otherwise qualified to cast an absentee ballot, the election authorityshall cast and count the ballot on election day or the day the ballot is determined to be valid, whichever is
aggregated figures. Some election authorities have obtained opinions from their respective
States Attorney’s offices to support that position.
 Cook has indicated that no such compiled totals are generated prior to 7:00 PM on ElectionDay. Cook noted that when voting machines were shut down at the close of early voting, an
operator’s log report was generated, the memory card was removed
, and both items wereplaced in secure storage. The vote data from the machine appeared in both of these items,but the data was not compiled or aggregated so as to generate any totals, and theinformation in them was not made available to anyone. This practice is consistent with the
manufacturer’s operat 
ing instructions for the equipment, and does not appear to cross the
line from “processing” into “counting” as those terms are interpreted by a large contingent 
of election authorities and their respective legal counsel.Cook Item #4: Processing Absentee Ballots Without Election JudgesAs noted in Cook Item #3 above, Section 19-8(g) of the Election Code contemplatesprocessing of absentee ballots by election judges or officials. Cook has opted to use thelatter as to absentee ballots returned prior to Election Day.Cook Item #5: Remaking Spoiled Ballots Without Election Judges Before Election DayThe election authority staff processing of absentee ballots includes the remaking of spoiledballots (i.e. those damaged in such a way as to be unreadable) onto undamaged ballot stock.By way of example, a returned absentee ballot is sometimes torn or badly creased in transit from the voter to the election authority. Remaking of such ballots involves the marking of an undamaged ballot to reflect the same selections the voter made on the original ballot.When this is done, the original damaged ballot and remade ballots are marked so as to
allow them to be matched later (such as by designating them in series as “Spoiled Ballot #1” and “Remade Ballot #1” through th
e final such pairing). This practice appearsconsistent with the Election Code.Cook Item #6: Vendor Staff Processing Absentee BallotsIt is not uncommon for election authorities to employ temporary or contract workers tohandle some tasks during high workload time periods around an election. This does not appear to be any violation of the Election Code. Cook has advised us that temporary orcontract workers operate under the direct supervision of permanent Cook staff, and theirwork is limited to noncomplex ministerial tasks that do not involve discretion.Cook Item #7: Chain of Custody for Absentee Ballots and Memory Cards
Defend the Vote asserts that Cook does not maintain a “reliable chain of custody” for
absentee ballots and memory cards once they are counted. Article 19 of the Election Code,which governs absentee balloting, does not set forth specifics as to precisely how votedabsentee ballots are to be stored after they are counted, other than the generalrequirement that ballots be secured. It is our understanding that Cook keeps absenteeballots and memory cards in a secure area, inaccessible to the public. Precisely how Cook secures the ballots in that area appears to be a matter of discretion to be exercised by Cook.Cook Item #8: Nursing Home VotingSection 19-12.2 of the Election Code provides for voting to be conducted on the premises of nursing homes (and certain other similar facilities) on the Friday, Saturday, Sunday orMonday prior to Election Day. This voting is to be conducted by 2 election judges, of different political parties.

Activity (10)

You've already reviewed this. Edit your review.
1 thousand reads
1 hundred reads
Defend the Vote liked this
Defend the Vote liked this
Defend the Vote liked this
Defend the Vote liked this
Defend the Vote liked this
Defend the Vote liked this

You're Reading a Free Preview

/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->