Ballot Security Problems Found in Chicago

A press release from Defend the Vote:

EXPLOSIVE REPORT – 2011 Chicago Elections – 59% Ballot Boxes Unsealed

Will My Vote Count in 2012? Explosive report on the security of Chicago elections.

Chicago Illinois, July 22, 2011: “Vote early and vote often” is the infamous phrase attributed to Chicago elections going back to the days of William Hale Thompson, mayor of Chicago from 1915 to 1923 and again from 1927 to 1931.

“Will my vote count?”

That is the question teams of pollwatchers set out to answer during the first ever citizen-run security assessment of the Chicago Board of Election’s processes and procedures.

On April 5th, 2011 – Election Day for the municipal runoff elections – 239 precincts were evaluated according to the CBE’s security procedures.

215 of these (90%) failed in at least one of 11 security procedures, and most of them failed in more than one area.

Incredibly, 139 (59%) did not secure the ballot box to the ballot scanning device!

On Thursday, July 28th (5-7pm) at the Chicago Union League Club, we will release this explosive report!

The report outlines severe lapses in security around the seals that protect memory devices on election equipment.

Besides Election Day procedures, we will discuss how the Chicago Board employs non-citizens to run some early voting sites in Chicago.

In addition, the CBE is non-compliant in Federal I-9 regulations for identifying the legal status of workers operating polling places for early voting.

Hundreds of 1-9’s of these employees do not identify their legal right to work.

Why are these forms not filled out correctly? If the CBE cannot get the simple I-9 forms filled out, how effective are they in maintaining secure elections?

A graphic from a March 1980 Illinois Issues story about Operation LEAP. A link to it is included in the story. Copyright Illinois Issues. Reprinted with permission from Illinois Issues. Dennis Fraden's "Election judges LEAP to clean up Chicago vote fraud," photo published by The University of Illinois at Springfield, IL 62794-9243.

The results of this audit of Chicago elections has inspired Defend the Vote, along with various Tea Party groups, to work with voters across Illinois to launch the first citizen-driven security assessment of voting processes across the State’s 110 election districts.

We frequently do not get to ask “if” our vote was tampered with.

How can we assess vulnerabilities when there is no data collected by election officials?

Security procedures for elections remain largely unavailable to the public.

Defend the Vote and the groups joining us aim to change that before the 2012 November election.

On Primary Day in March 2012, thousands of voters across Illinois will conduct a statewide security audit of election processes and procedures at their polling place.

While a portion of the audit will look at Election Day procedures, the entire process of elections in Illinois will be assessed, including

  • early voting,
  • absentee voting,
  • nursing home voting,
  • warehouse storage, and
  • inventory and shipping procedures.

Security measures around the machines and their memory devices will be reviewed and documented as part of a system-wide vulnerability assessment.

For too long, voters in Illinois have uttered the phrase we are infamous for “vote early and vote often.”

In 2012 voters across the state of Illinois will step up to hold their local election authorities accountable for holding honest and transparent elections.

Join us on July 28th to learn more!

Contact: Defend the Vote – Empowering Citizens to Protect Elections

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Back in at least the 1970’s and 1980’s there was an organization called Operation LEAP. The “LEAP” stood for “Legal Elections in All Precincts.” The late Tom Roeser was its president in 1980.

I can testify to ballot problems in 1974’s Regional Transportation Authority referendum. Paper ballots were used. The victory margin of its supporters was under 13,000.

State Rep. Don Totten (R-Schaumburg) and his organization color coded the election results of every Chicago precinct. I still remember one that went 100% for the RTA referendum. About 80 “Yes” votes, no “No” votes and about 60 spoiled ballots. The rest of the ward was voting about 60% in favor of RTA.

My guess is that someone put “identifying marks” on the 60 “No” votes and the Democratic Party judges declared them “spoiled ballots.”

Vote fraud is more sophisticated now and oversight is definitely needed.

It was funded by good government business types, who apparently lost interest after Richard Daley was elected Mayor.

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