My piece about the strange vote counting in McHenry County in my 1996 Republican Primary Election brought forth the following memory from one of the people who was watching the 1998 centralized vote counting for State Representative in the race between appointed incumbent Mike Brown and newcomer Jack Franks:
The following is my recollection of the events relating to the 1998 election in which Jack Franks was a candidate:
- Four of us were designated as election authorized observers representing Jack Franks.
- Each of us had experience in computer networks and programming. We were all in business
activities that required that type of knowledge.
- We were given an onsite demonstration before the election of the setup and functioning of the vote tabulation device and information that a punch card provided that vote counting program direction.
- During the course of the evening of the vote calculation we discovered that the hard wired network also went directly to Al Jordan’s [County Auditor’s] office along with other computers in the vote counting area. This meant that he could monitor the results and theoretically control the interruption (stopping) of the count. Every stoppage of the vote count made it possible to insert a program card that could control the count method or any other function of the vote counting program.
- The voting machine counting occurs at a very rapid rate and would make seemingly impossible to change a program card without a stoppage. Consequently, it would be very important to have a “stoppage/breakdown” at an important juncture in the voting count process. This certainly cast plausible suspicion upon the computer in Al Jordan’s office
- Previous election observations had revealed unusual shifts in the projected outcome of the results. Therefore, the intensity of onsite observation became very important during stoppages during the night;
- This particular night yielded a victory for Jack Franks….It seems like the close observation by he appointed Jack Franks monitors may have been an important factor…
Other irregularities occurred like unsealed ballot boxes and one delivery of an open ballot box being late because the courier said he stopped of dinner.