Cook County Voting Machines Not Certified by State Board of Elections

A press release from Sharon Meroni’s Defend the Vote:

Illegal and Uncertified Voting Systems in Chicago and Suburban Cook County

Defend the Vote has recently uncovered startling evidence that proves the voting systems used in Chicago and Suburban Cook County are not legally certified in Illinois.

Voting systems are defined by Illinois Law as follows:

“‘Voting system’ or ‘electronic voting system’ means that combination of equipment and programs used in the casting, examination and tabulation of ballots and the cumulation and reporting of results by electronic means.” (10 ILCS 5/24B-2)

Voting systems in Illinois must be certified by receiving approval from the Illinois State Board of Elections. Most voting systems are given “Interim Approvals” which lasts for a maximum of 2 years.

Each Interim Approval is based on the version of the voting system that has been tested and approved.
Defend the vote logo
Chicago and Suburban Cook use the Dominion/Sequoia WinEDS system, which has multiple versions of its 5 components. These 5 components include:

  • WinEDS – the election management system that records, compiles, and reports vote totals from any election;
  • Edge2Plus – a Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting machine that produces an electronic ballot with a paper ballot recorded as a scroll inside the machine;
  • Insight – an optical scanner that records the vote from paper ballots given to the voter; and
  • the HAAT (Hybrid Activator, Accumulator, and Transmitter) which consolidates, tabulates, and transmits voter data.

In addition, a 400c optical scanning machine is used to process absentee ballots.

Illinois acquired the WinEDS voting system in 2006. Since then, this voting system has undergone various hardware, firmware, and software modifications; all of them requiring a new Interim Approval from the Board.

The State Board’s Executive Director, Rupert Borgsmiller, sent Defend the Vote a response including a chart which lists when the election equipment was certified by the ISBE with an Interim Approval.

In this chart, Borgsmiller lumps the September 6, 2012 approval of the ImageCast to include voting equipment (the Insight and the 400c optical scanners) not included in the modified ImageCast voting system.

As Defend the Vote’s complaint lays out, the ImageCast voting system is not the same as the WinEds voting system and furthermore it has never undergone any independent testing as required by Illinois election laws.

Defend the Vote is challenging the Board’s claim; but even if Borgsmiller is right, the Interim Approval for Chicago’s voting systems will expire on September 6, 2014.

Suburban Cook County cannot make the same argument.

Edge Plus 2 voting machine used in Cook County.

Edge2Plus voting machine used in Cook County.

The Edge2Plus version they are using is 1.2.67, and their HAAT version is 2.6.34.

These versions are not part of the ImageCast system that was approved on September 6, 2012.

In fact, the versions in use by Suburban Cook received Interim Approval on September 15, 2010, which expired two years later on September 15, 2012.

This was two months before the 2012 Presidential election!

This stands as proof of Defend the Vote’s claim that the 2012 Presidential election and the municipal elections in 2013 conducted in Suburban Cook County were conducted on uncertified voting systems.

The adhesive paper on the voting machine seal can easily be replicated and replaced, Defend the Vote points out.  That makes the metal clasp ineffective, the group argues.

The adhesive paper on the voting machine seal can easily be replicated and replaced, Defend the Vote points out. That makes the metal clasp ineffective, the group argues.

There is no provision in Illinois Law that authorizes the use of uncertified equipment in elections, and all equipment being used must have an Interim Approval or Final Approval from the Board.

Therefore, Defend the Vote asserts it is illegal to use this equipment in Suburban Cook County for the upcoming 2014 elections.

Furthermore, the WinEDS system being used in Chicago and Suburban Cook County cannot be re-certified.

This is because after the voting system repeatedly failed the mandatory EAC (Election Assistance Commission) testing, Dominion/Sequioia pulled the equipment from the program and have refused further testing.

Most importantly, the Edge2Plus was never certified as having met the 2002 Voting System Standards established by HAVA; as is required by Illinois Law.

Defend the Vote is preparing to file a formal HAVA Title III complaint next week.

= = = = =
The letter of complaint can be found here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.