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Illinois: State's Atty. Wants Voting Extended to 9:30 p.m. in Kane County PDF  | Print |  Email
By William Presecky, Chicago Tribune staff reporter   
November 07, 2006

The Chicago Tribune reports:


Widespread delays in getting Kane County polling places opened and electronic voting machines up and running have prompted State's Atty. John Barsanti to seek a court order extending voting hours until 9:30 p.m. tonight.

A hearing on the motion in Kane County Circuit Court is expected to be held as soon as possible this afternoon, Barsanti said, in order for notification to be sent to the precincts. As of midday, Barsanti said, he had been unable to determine the extent of the delays, so he has asked that polls remain open after the scheduled 7 p.m. closing in all of Kane County's 223 precincts.

The court order would not extend to precincts in Kane County that are under the jurisdiction of the Aurora Election Commission. Kane County Clerk John "Jack" Cunningham could only confirm that as many as half the county's precincts had problems opening.

"Some were down for an hour and a half. We can't turn it around but (with the extension), we're trying mitigate to any damage the best way we can. Every vote is important," said Cunningham.

Chicago Voter Registration Database Flawed PDF  | Print |  Email
By Illinois Ballot Integrity Project   
October 23, 2006
Voters' Key Personal Information Available on the Internet 


A serious security vulnerability was discovered in the City of Chicago online voter registration database that would allow an identity pirate to obtain the names, addresses, birth dates and Social Security numbers of more than 1.5 million Chicago voters.


According to Bob Wilson, Cook County chair of Illinois Ballot Integrity Project, a malicious hacker could have readily change the voter registration status of individual voters or groups of voters. "For example, you could change the status of all the voters in a precinct to inactive after the registration deadline so that when one of those voters checked their online status they might believe they were ineligible and wouldn't attempt to vote," said Wilson. "Or, you could change their polling place information so they would show up at the wrong precinct on election day…the possibilities are nearly endless and could cause election day havoc," he added.


IBIP notified staff at the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners several weeks ago about the vulnerability but no action was taken. "We had hoped that the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners would take quick action to plug this hole, but apparently that's not the case," said Illinois Ballot Integrity Project member, Peter Zelchenko. He estimates it would take little more than five minutes to fix the problem. Late last week, IBIP and Zelchenko became aware that the security breach was significantly more severe than first thought. The Board was immediately notified and began taking action to alleviate the threat last Friday and began installing a new web interface over the weeekend.

Illinois: Fidlar Fired? DuPage Watchdog Group Says "No" PDF  | Print |  Email
By Illinois Ballot Integrity Project   
October 15, 2006
Recent public remarks by DuPage County Election Commission Chairman J.P. "Rick" Carney attempting to deflect criticism of cronyism in the selection of election vendors has led to yet another discovery of favoritism, according to the DuPage Chapter of the Illinois Ballot Integrity Project. IBIP recently revealed that Carney had received $12,500 in campaign contributions from Fidlar Doubleday, the "premier dealer" for Diebold Election Systems, Inc., prior to voting for the highly controversial touch screen machines in December 2005. Fidlar had supplied voting machines, technical assistance and election materials to the Commission for years. The new revelations concern Carney's remarks published by The Daily Herald.


Carney's response to this finding were published in a front page article in The Daily Herald on Oct. 5, 2006. Robert Sanchez wrote, quoting Carney, “'All I know is they (Fidlar) no longer represent Diebold at the election commission,' Carney said. 'That’s a fact.'” Carney explained that the $500,000 contract with Fidlar for the printing of ballots had been given to another company.

Illinois: State Commission Cites DuPage County Board of Elections for Destruction of Records PDF  | Print |  Email
By Illinois Ballot Integrity Project   
October 02, 2006
The DuPage County Election Commission has been allegedly illegally destroying election and other public records by failing to apply for permission from the Illinois Local Records Commission according to recent letters to Illinois State Attorney General Lisa Madigan and to DuPage State's Attorney Joe Birkett, from John Curtain, Chairman of the Illinois Local Records Commission.

The letters bring to the Attorney General’s and State's Attorney's attention that the executive director of the DuPage County Election Commission, Robert T. Saar, has admitted that the Election Commission destroyed poll tapes from the November 2004 presidential election as early as 20 months prior the date permitted under Federal law. In addition, Saar has stated in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that memory cards and other electronic records of ballots cast in the November 2004
election were no longer available as “ . . . no such document exists for this period because the document is subject to continuous modification from imputing of new data.”

The letters also cite information from the Dec. 7, 2005 minutes of the DuPage County Election Commission that state the Commission was planning to destroy voter registration documents; the Commission has never filed for a disposal certificate for these materials as required by law. In addition, the Local Records Commission wrote to the Illinois Attorney General’s office on June 6, 2006, requesting a formal confirmation opinion that the DuPage County Election Commission is subject to the provisions of the Illinois Local Records Act (50 ILCS 205). The Illinois Attorney General already resolved a similar issue in 1999 on the applicability of the State Local Records Act with the DuPage County Public Safety Communications Office in opinion 99-021.
Election Reform: The Fierce Urgency of Now PDF  | Print |  Email
By Jean Kaczmarek, co-chair Illinois Ballot Integrity Project DuPage Chapter   
August 20, 2006

The author delivered the following speech on August 19, 2006 at the Take Back the Vote Rally held in Warrenville lllinois by the Illinois Ballot Interity Project.


Eighty-six years ago yesterday, the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified giving women the right to vote after a 72-year battle.

Forty-three years later on a hot August day, Martin Luther King delivered his immortal “I Have a Dream” speech “to remind Americans of the fierce urgency of now.”


Here we are, 43 years later on another August day, faced with the unfinished work of civil rights in our electoral process, to also “dramatize an appalling condition.”


The heart of election reform is a matter of civil rights.  When our votes are not counted, all of us are strapped in a chair and force fed with iron clamps and tubes, all of us are plastered with fire hoses with a force which strips bark off trees, all of us are sitting at the back of the bus.

Until this decade, I had been blessed to have never felt the pang of suppression.  I was born in a time, place and circumstances where discrimination and withering injustice were fenced off and never about me.  Many of us here today share similar roots.

Illinois: Republicans and Democrats Challenge Accuracy of Primary Election Results PDF  | Print |  Email
By Warren Stewart, VoteTrustUSA   
April 14, 2006

Candidates from both major political parties are planning challenges to last month's primary elections in Illinois. Concerns about the accuracy of election results were raised already on election night and have grown since then.


According to WBBM:

Cook County Republican leaders want 20 percent of the votes from the March primary recounted, because they fear problems with new voting equipment and untrained election judges may have tainted the results.

Meanwhile attorney and Democratic candidate Frank Avila is threatening to file a federal lawsuit on behalf of Democrats and Republicans.
The Chicago Tribune wrote that Fueled by concerns about "poor management and organizational incompetence," Maureen Murphy, vice chair of the county GOP and a member of the county Board of Review, said she has met with about 200 suburban election judges who detailed a litany of problems from the March 21 primary.

Among the issues, she said, were a touch-screen voting machine that "blew up like an M80" and had to be unplugged; machines showing votes that hadn't been cast; and machines not working at all. In one meeting she asked about 125 judges how many of them were confident that every vote at their polling place had been counted, and no hands went up, she said.


Nevertheless election officials, as usual, assured candidates and voters alike that somehow the votes were counted accurately. Chicago Elections Board chairman Langdon Neal says a mandated 5 percent recount has already certified the count was accurate, saying problems with voting machines and elections judges who weren't able to handle the equipment, affected the speed of the vote counting, but not the accuracy.

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