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McGuffage (Chairman) Jesse R. Smart (Vice Chairman) Harold D. Byers Betty J. Coffrin Judith C. Rice Bryan A. Schneider Charles W. Scholz Dan White (Executive Director) Steve Sandvoss (General Counsel) Illinois State Board of Elections: 1020 South Spring Street Springfield, IL 62708 Dear Illinois State Board of Directors, Executive Director, and General Counsel: Defend the Vote is an Illinois not-for-profit, non-partisan organization with the mission to empower citizens to protect elections. We focus on three areas: Ballot Access, The Voter, and Casting the Vote. An important aspect of our activity involves evaluation of security protocols in place to protect the integrity of the vote. In 2011 - 2012, Defend the Vote is conducting state-wide security assessments of elections in Illinois. In April 2011, along with Champion News, we conducted a ‘vulnerability assessment and security audit’ of the Chicago Board of Election’s Election Day security procedures. Our findings document serious flaws in the Illinois election system. We evaluated 239 polling places on 11 security measures which were taken out of the 2011 Illinois (and Chicago) Election Judge Training Guide. 215 (91%) precincts failed in one or more measures. 139 (59%) precincts were documented with unsealed ballot boxes. Our report summarizing this audit was peer reviewed and published in the Argonne National Laboratory’s October 2011 edition of the prestigious Journal of Physical Security.. The peer-review team consisted of experts in physical security and some with election security expertise. Dr. Roger Johnston, Ph.D., CPP, is head of the Vulnerability Assessment Team (VAT) at Argonne National Laboratory and Editor of the Journal. Dr. Johnston found that the security protocols in place were “wholly inadequate” and essentially 100% ineffective in promoting a tamper resistant voting environment. This letter serves to provide the Board with our report: You can read the in-depth report at this link. This report includes a section on “Additional Vulnerabilities” outlining additional security issues.
What are the Illinois State Board of Elections and the Chicago Board of Elections planning to do about it? Defend the Vote seeks to speak about our findings at the next Board meeting. We seek 15 - 30 minutes to present our findings and 15 minutes for discussion. Dr. Johnston is available to provide critical insights in physical security of the election equipment. In 2012, Defend the Vote will expand our efforts across the state. Our program is called the Voter Auditor Pollwatching (VAP) program. Registered voters will score their precinct for compliance with security protocols. The Election Day assessment consists of scoring polling place compliance with security protocols as well as assessing the ability of the security protocols to actually secure the vote. The results will be collected and analyzed. In addition to Election Day polling place procedures, Defend the Vote will be looking at security procedures surrounding early and absentee voting, the military vote, and nursing home voting. In a separate study, Defend the Vote has identified serious irregularities in staffing of early voting sites in Illinois. We have uncovered the use of non-citizens operating polling sites making decisions about whether US citizens can vote. Incredibly, I-9 forms for 75% of the early voting employees studied were not filled out correctly. 1) The audit of early voting is of considerable interest to voters in Illinois. Defend the Vote, as a non-partisan citizen-based organization, would like to participate in discussions about audit procedures for early voting. Please direct me to the correct person to arrange our participation. 2) We seek your assistance in obtaining information concerning security protocols in place within the 110 election jurisdictions in Illinois. Please have someone from the Illinois State Board of Elections contact me, hopefully this week. With regards to Ballot Access, Defend the Vote is focused on two areas: US citizenship and apparent conformity. Information is not available in the public record verifying candidate affirmations in their statement of candidacy as being “legally qualified” and therefore a US citizen. Relating to apparent conformity: What is the ISBE public policy regarding enforcement of “apparent conformity” standards? 3) Please provide a copy of the ISBE policy on apparent conformity. With regards to The Voter, Defend the Vote is looking at voter registration rolls from a security perspective. Last April, the Pantograph reported that Illinois has 14 Counties with more registered voters then eligible voting population. This is a security issue of concern to voters. (Read more: Illinois counties with more registered voters then eligible adults) 4) What current methods are used to secure that voter registration rolls are cleaned of old voter registrations? 5) Please place Defend the Vote on the next schedule to testify before the Board about our findings related to security in Illinois elections, and advise us of the date and time. We seek 45 minutes to present our findings and for questions. We look forward to working with you! Regards,
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