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UNCERTIFIED VOTING MACHINES, SAME-DAY VOTER REGISTRATION, FEDERAL HAVA COMPLAINT AMONG ITEMS TO BE ADDRESSED
by Sharon Meroni, Executive Director, DefendtheVote
(Jan. 15, 2015) — Happy New Year 2015!
The New Year has arrived with some ill-conceived changes in Illinois election law in tow. Quinn’s final death blow to the security of the vote was dealt by signing the election omnibus bill SB172; he signed Election Day in-precinct voter registration into law, and then vamoosed! The ballots cast by voters who take advantage of Election Day registration are provisional, which undercuts any opportunity to retract a false registration.
More to come! Defend the Vote is preparing to address this flawed legislation. SB172 takes effect in 2016, so 2015 will be an important year.
Just as importantly, our HAVA complaint is now in mediation. Mediation is a legal process where we have an independent lawyer act as a mediator by communicating with both sides of the HAVA complaint. The mediator will attempt to resolve the matter before it goes through the subsequent legal processes, such as hearings and court.
Our main HAVA complaint alleges that the electronic voting machines, Edge2Plus and the WinEds system, are not legally certified and that the Board should not have re-certified them last August. In Illinois, these electronic voting machines are used only in Chicago and Suburban Cook County and were cited for voting problems in the last election. We want the machines to be removed from further usage in Illinois and for both Chicago and Suburban Cook County to purchase new machines before the 2016 elections.
There is no question, we need a legal team. While we haven’t been penalized for not having one to date, this complaint is serious and it needs the expertise of lawyers to carry it through the legal process. There are 12 states using these uncertified machines; they were infamous during the Harry Reid/Sharron Angle election for vote switching! It is time for Illinois to have reliable election machines.
We need to raise the funds to hire a legal team to support this work. The timing is short, but the impact could reach beyond state lines.
Our website has been updated, and there are more changes to come.
- As part of our summary of operations, we document where we feel our work has made an impact. The 2011-2014 report is posted here.
- Our goals and objectives for 2015 are posted here.
- We have a few programs we are funding. IE, our Hire a Vet program works to place veterans as Judges of Election in their home precincts throughout Illinois.
2015 also saw a change to Defend the Vote’s organizational status: we were awarded our 501c-3 status at the end of 2014, and contributions are now tax-deductible.
Important update: We have opened a new office on the south side of Chicago for the purposes of recruiting and training Judges of Election. Based in the heart of the 6th ward, this inner city office will be very active in recruitment drives for Chicago.
I ask you to consider making a contribution to Defend the Vote. We need your help, and all contributions in January and February will directly fund the HAVA complaint.
Cheers for 2015 – May your year be filled with grace, prosperity, and joy!
Executive Director, Defend the Vote