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Illinois Ballot Integrity Project
The presidential election of 2000 highlighted problems with punch-card
balloting systems. "Hanging chad" became a part of the American
What the discussion ignored was that the Florida counties involved in
the controvery had been using old, poorly designed and poorly
maintained punch card systems that were long outmoded.
To solve the problem in future elections, Congress in 2002 passed the
Help America Vote Act
provided approximately $3.9 billion in Federal funding to
accomplish two main objectives:
State and local election officials saw HAVA as the cure for all their
problems. Finally, the funds to upgrade to computerized voting systems
were available without having to increase taxes on their constituents
to pay for the new machines. Voting machine companies eyed the nearly
$4 billion dollar pot, and the rush was on.
- Replace punch-card voting systems.
- Provide greater accessibility for disabled voters
and allow them to vote privately and independently.
But is the cure worse than the disease? Despite fifteen years of
equipment refinement, reports of malfunctions and spurious vote
counts involving computerized voting systems continue to surface.
Electronic voting machines have proven to be insecure, unreliable
Disturbing revelations have been published by computer experts who
have inspected the software used in two top-selling electronic voting
systems. Similar concerns have been raised about other brands.
Elsewhere on this site we'll explore problems with electronic voting
systems in greater detail.
In October 2005, the U.S. General Accountability Office (GAO) issued
that was highly critical of electronic voting machines. This report received
widespread bipartisan support
among members of Congress, but very little mention in the mainstream
press. Here's what Congressman Henry A.Waxman said:
The GAO report indicates that we need to get serious and act quickly to
improve the security of electronic voting machines.
The report makes
clear that there is a lack of transparency and accountability in
electronic voting systems—from the day that contracts are signed with
manufacturers to the counting of electronic votes on Election Day.
State and local officials are spending a great deal of money on
machines without concrete proof that they are secure and reliable.
American voters deserve better.
The Illinois Ballot Integrity Project
strongly supports Congressman Waxman's comments. Fair, honest
and transparent elections are fundamental to our democracy.
We now face some critical questions:
The objective of the Illinois Ballot Integrity Project is to promote this
discussion, raising the level of awareness among members of the public,
legislators, election officials and the media.
What problems plague computerized voting systems?
How pervasive are these problems?
What's the potential for solving these problems?
Statement of Purpose
IBIP meets on the
second Wednesday of each month.
Our next meeting will be on
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
For location, call 773/338-3564
"Protect your vote"
September 28, 2011
"Turning the Tide:
Election Reform in Illinois"
CEO, CHANGE Illinois
Oak Park Library
834 W. Lake
Oak Park, Illinois
To view flyer, click here.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Friday, March 25, 2011
"How to tweak a voting machine--
by remote control"
Dr. Roger Johnston
Leader, Vulnerability Assessment Team,
Argonne National Laboratory.
For details, click here.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011