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Election security should be transparent and open to the public’s review. Don’t be afraid to ask! Greetings from Defend the Vote, Does your vote really count? It’s easy to assume the answer to that question is yes—we certainly did before digging deeper into Illinois’ election procedures! But the closer we looked, the more concerned we became about the system put in place that is supposed to keep our ballot tamper-free. Whatever your vote is, and for whatever party, candidate, or issue it must to be fairly counted! Defend the Vote is a non-partisan, not-for-profit corporation that was founded to improve ballot integrity in Illinois. Our approach is quite different, in that we seek to prevent electoral fraud by improving the system, rather than fanning out on Election Day to catch crooks after the fact (which has historically never worked to any great degree). In 2012 we conducted the first citizen empowered audit of 239 precincts in Chicago. We found that 139 times election personnel failed to secure the ballot box in these precincts. Along with other sobering facts discovered during the audit, this information was summarized into a report that was peer reviewed and published in Argonne National Laboratory’s Journal of Physical Security. According to Dr. Roger G. Johnston, Ph.D., CPP, (head of the Vulnerability Assessment Team (VAT) at Argonne National Laboratory) our investigation proved security protocols currently in place were not followed and therefore failed to ensure a tamper-resistant voting environment. Dr. Johnston found these protocols to be “deficient and wholly inadequate” in securing the vote. We took this audit report to Chicago and the Illinois State Board of Elections. The results are stunning! At the th February 28 Board meeting, the Chicago Commissioners reported that effective immediately, Chicago re-vamped their security procedures to include significant changes from suggestions made by Defend the Vote and Dr. Johnston. The following changes were made as a direct result of our 2011 audit. All Early Voting locations in Chicago now have a Republican and Democrat Judge present Implementation of new employment verification and I-9 procedures All employees operating Early Voting in Chicago will be registered voters Implementation of new polling place procedures for securing election equipment New seal protocols from suggestions by Defend the Vote, and Dr. Roger Johnston Implementation of new warehouse security procedures MOST importantly, the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners and the Illinois State Board of Elections agreed to work with Defend the Vote's experts to assess security protocols for electronic voting. Electronic voting machines are widely suspected to be vulnerable to electronic tampering, but no one in Illinois has scientifically investigated the issue (Until now)! Are you aware the electronic early vote has never been audited in Illinois? We are deeply involved in researching electronic voting and are dedicated to investigating electronic vulnerabilities to enhance security of your vote before November’s elections
BREAKING: Defend the Vote’s research has recently discovered additional flaws in Illinois voting systems and we want to make changes before the 2012 General Election held in November. We have two URGENT initiatives for March 2012 to help us accomplish this. 1) Pollwatcher Audit Survey: Take the enclosed Audit Survey to your precinct with pollwatching credentials and complete the survey. The Pollwatcher Audit Survey is designed for your election district based on the type of election equipment used. Please double check to make sure you have the correct survey. Additional surveys are available online or we will personally deliver them through Tuesday. The survey is self explanatory documenting basic election security protocols in place to protect your vote. Read it, ask the judges question while filling the survey out, sign it, and send it to us! Get others in your area to audit their precincts, too. THE MORE DATA - THE STRONGER THE SURVEY! 2) Voter Feedback Survey: Take the enclosed Voter Feedback Survey; fill one out and ask other voters to fill it out. This investigative survey has questions for all voters and is crucial for future conversations with election authorities. We want to provide a special incentive to you for participating in this important investigation. As an incentive, Defend the Vote will pick one questionnaire from every 100 received and reward that sender with a gift certificate for two for a nice dinner out in your area. Additionally, everyone completing the questionnaire will receive a special 2012 commemorative Defend the Vote magnet for your home or car. By documenting how elections are run in your precincts, you help to improve the system. You also provide objective data that may help should problems arise in your election jurisdiction! Join with an organization already achieving results! Become part of the clean-up of Illinois elections!
Sharon Meroni Director of Defend the Vote
SEND ALL FORMS TO: Defend the Vote One West Surrey Lane Barrington Hills, Il 60010 Call if we can help! 847-382-1100