Back when Tom Roeser was the Public Affairs Director with Quaker Oats, he helped form Operation LEAP.
The acronym stood for “Legal Elections in All Precincts.”
Operation LEAP died, but there is a linear descendent called “Defend the Vote” run by a McHenry County woman named Sharon Meroni.
Her groups goals are broader than Operation LEAP’s, but because she is not a liberal the Chicago media gives it no attention…at least that I have seen.
Meroni, who can be reached at email@example.com, wants to share the following message, which I received today:
I am the Founder and Director at Defend the Vote. Defend the Vote is an Illinois based organization with the mission to empower citizens to protect elections. I am a McHenry County resident. You have covered some of our activities and I thank you for that.
I wish to provide you and your readers with a link to my post relating to the ballot challenge of 5 candidates that applied for ballot position for the Illinois legislature in the 52nd District House Representative and 26th District Senator.
These are the legislative bodies that should be involved in the issue driving my action.
Who is responsible to assure candidates on the ballot are constitutionally eligible, and thus legally qualified?
I am not talking petition signatures…
In the statement of candidacy the candidate self affirms they are legally qualified for the position. The public record holds proof for each aspect of legal qualification, except one.
It does not hold proof of US Citizenship.
Yet, the Illinois Constitution requires US Citizenship to qualify for ballot placement.
[Meroni challenged the candidacy of Independent candidate for McHenry County Circuit Court Judge Sally Wiggins in 2010. You can read how she dropped the challenge once Wiggins presented her birth certificate here.]
My research uncovered and proved that no one checks in Illinois. The title of my blog post is “If not you, who?” [In the post, Meroni tells of her challenges to the candidacies of all three Republican candidates for State Representative in the 52nd District and both candidates for State Senate in the 26th District, where she lives.]
No one in Illinois verifies citizenship qualifications for any state or federal office voted on in Illinois.
Defend the Vote is involved with ballot security in three areas:
- Ballot Access,
- The Voter, and
- Casting the Vote
This issue addresses ballot access.
We have active programs addressing the security of the vote and also about voter registration roles.
Along with Champion News, Defend the Vote was responsible for the audit of Chicago elections in 2011.
Our security assessment was conducted by assessing precincts on 11 security measures during the April 2011 Municipal Runoff election in Chicago.
We found 215 out of 239 precincts failed on one or more critical security measure: 139 precincts failed to seal the ballot box. ([An article about this study can be found here.]
The report outlining this explosive research was peer reviewed and published by the Argonne National Laboratory’s prestigious Journal of Physical Security.
As a result of our research, security expert, Dr. Roger Johnston found
security protocols protecting the vote in Chicago to be “wholly inadequate,” essentially failing 100% of the time to prove the ballot is secure.
We are conducting a state-wide assessment of elections in Illinois (Voter Auditor Pollwatcher program – VAP) and we are actively lining up Voter Auditor Pollwatchers to evaluate the security of the vote across the state of Illinois. (Voters we welcome you to join in – it takes about 20 minutes after you vote!)
We are researching election security across the state with an emphasis on security procedures; assessing effectiveness in theory and in practice. We are working with every election authority in the state (Letter to Count Clerks) and are well on our way with most major election jurisdictions (based on population) covered for this 2011 March Primary VAP program.
This week we will begin to collect information on how Illinois secures the military vote.
Ultimately we will research and report on aspects related to the security of Illinois’ military, absentee, early, nursing home and Election Day voting.
Defend the Vote has already proven Illinois does not audit Early Voting.
18% of the vote in Illinois has never been reviewed for accuracy. I wish I could tell every Illinois resident this fact.
We DON’T audit early voting returns AND We DON’T audit the software recording the early vote.
Never… Not once!
18% of the vote in Illinois is done through early voting. That percentage is growing.
I speak frequently about this issue. Defend the Vote is non-partisan; empowering citizens to protect elections. Please join us!
There is so much to do.