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Balloting in Cook County: Citizen's Advisory

By Roy Lipscomb, Illinois Ballot Integrity Project  Posted by Joan Brunwasser (about the submitter)       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   No comments

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Balloting in Cook County: Citizen's Advisory

Beginning with the March 21 primary, voters
throughout Cook County will be asked to rely
on optical scanners and touch-screen computers
to cast their votes in all elections.

In counties across the nation, both types of
machines have shown themselves to be prone to

Malfunctions can alter the outcome of elections.

It is essential that the County be apprised of
the extent of such problems, so that it can deal
with them judiciously.

You can play a important part in this endeavor.
Simply notify your local jurisdiction of any
malfunctions that you experience or observe when
voting on the new machines.

* If you vote in suburban Cook County, you should
report problems to the County Clerk's Office,
by phone at 312/603-0236 (Legal Helpline) or
by email at

* If you vote in Chicago, you should report problems
at 312/269-7870 or

* Regardless of where you encounter problems, please
email a copy of your report to the Illinois Ballot
Integrity Project at
(More about us below.)

In your report, please indicate your town, ward
precinct, time of day, and other specific details.

Every malfunction is of interest, even ones
that don't prevent you from eventually casting
your vote.

For instance, if 30% of the machines fail to cast
votes on the first try, but do cast votes on the
second try, this is a significant problem. Your
report can help to compile such statistics.

Here are some of the problems that have been observed
in other jurisdictions:

Optical scan systems

* The scanner continually rejects the ballot, even
though the ballot is in good order.

* The scanner mangles the ballot.

* The scanner does not return the ballot to the voter
for corrections when so directed.

Touch-screen systems

* The screen is blank or the machine is non-operational.

* You touch a candidate's name, but nothing happens.

* You touch one candidate's name, but another's lights up.

* The machine does not allow you to change your choices.

* The paper-trail printer gets jammed.

* The paper trail is misprinted or otherwise illegible.

* * *

Help us monitor these problems so we can help ensure that
votes will be counted accurately in the future!

We at the Illinois Ballot Integrity Project are interested
in hearing about any problems that you encounter (especially
if you are an election judge).

Please send your report to

In a week or so, we will post a compilation of all the
reports we received. You will be able to view the entire
compilation by visiting--

For privacy reasons, we will disguise or blank out all
individual names and email addresses in the posted

* * *

Founded in September 2003, the Illinois Ballot Integrity
Project is dedicated to promoting the acceptance of paper
ballots as the sole official vote document. Paper ballots
are necessary because of the proven unreliability and
vulnerability of digital voting technology.

For more information on this issue, please visit our website,

Thank you,

Roy Lipscomb
Director of Technology
The Illinois Ballot Integrity Project


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Joan Brunwasser is a co-founder of Citizens for Election Reform (CER) which since 2005 existed for the sole purpose of raising the public awareness of the critical need for election reform. Our goal: to restore fair, accurate, transparent, secure elections where votes are cast in private and counted in public. Because the problems with electronic (computerized) voting systems include a lack of (more...)

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