VOTING SYSTEMS CHALLENGED, MOST OBJECTIVES ACHIEVED

by DefendtheVote, ©2015

(Jun. 9, 2015) — At the end of May, the Illinois State Board of Elections met with Defend the Vote in a formal mediation process in an attempt to resolve Defend the Vote’s two HAVA (Help America Vote Act) complaints. Defend the Vote fully achieved one of our objectives as stated in the first complaint regarding the timing of filing complaints for HAVA. On the second complaint, we achieved one point, and are now positioned to re-file a more specific complaint which will seek to require Dominion Voting and the Illinois State Board of Elections (ISBE) to test the current system as a “Blended System” rather than as an modification of the original Dominion/Sequoia WinEds electronic voting system that was purchased in 2005.

The rules for mediation literally prohibit disclosure of details of the mediation process. However, as an overview, we can discuss some of the signed agreements which will be presented to the ISBE in August. I am sorry, I can only be somewhat specific on the decisions that were reached. Mediation has stringent rules pertaining to disclosure and we do not want to violate these rules. We will be able to discuss the specifics of the mediation after the Illinois State Board meeting in August.

HAVA Complaint 1: In the first complaint, Defend the Vote alleged that Title 26, Part 150 rules set by the State Board of Elections and JCAR (Illinois’ Joint Committee on Administrative Rules), were not compliant with HAVA requirements because they limited the filing of complaints specifically to 90 days following a violation. HAVA mandates that complaints can be filed before, during, and after a violation. We also complained that the time allowed to file was too restrictive. The mediation brought an agreement that the State Board would recommend the Administrative Rules be altered to allow for filing before, during, or after a violation occurs, and to double the allotted time to 180 days to file a complaint. All changes in Administrative Rules must go through JCAR so there will be a period of time when these changes will be presented and reviewed before finalization.

HAVA Complaint 2: The second complaint was not specifically resolved, however there is an agreement that there will be increased monitoring by the State Board of the Dominion voting system in advance of the 2016 elections. This is significant because Chicago has recently gone public with statements that the electronic voting system recording millions of votes in Cook County is not going to be viable for the 2016 elections. (See video Rise of Electionstein) In addition, Defend the Vote will withdraw the current complaint and replace it with a new complaint that will specify the current system has not undergone other required steps for state certification. This is because the system currently certified is a blended system.

To clarify, Defend the Vote’s research recently uncovered two important EAC (Election Assistance Commission) decisions that requires the separate testing and certification of blended voting systems. The system currently certified is a blended system that utilizes two separate Dominion voting systems and this blended system has never been tested by any independent laboratory. These EAC decisions along with Illinois laws that require testing by independent labs of all voting systems provide a broader basis for Defend the Vote to present a much stronger HAVA complaint.  This complaint will specify that the blended system currently certified in Illinois has not been independently tested by any laboratory for volume testing or for functionality. Both are required.

We will not take our next complaint through mediation. It will go directly to a hearing process. We will file our complaint later in June and expect that it will promptly go to a hearing. While the mediation process was longer, our next step will require ISBE to take definitive action within 90 days.  Should Defend the Vote not agree with the hearing results, the decision will be reviewed by Illinois courts later in the fall.

2015 is flying by, and Defend the Vote is working to get this blended voting system out of Illinois before the 2016 election cycle!

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