Working with Illinois lawmakers, The Illinois Ballot Integrity Project has drafted The Illinois Election Integrity Act.
This Act was introduced by State Representative Suzanne Ness of the 66th Legislative District into the 103rd General Assembly on February 15, 2023.
The Illinois Election Integrity Act is identified as House Bill 2555. The full text can be accessed on the Illinois General Assembly Web Site. https://www.ilga.gov
Below are helpful suggestions on what you can do to help secure passage of the Illinois Election Integrity Act into Illinois law.
What You Can Do
When passed into law, The Illinois Election Integrity Act will provide a powerful legislative solution for Illinois counties that are struggling with election integrity issues, and also for all counties which are tasked with providing efficient, professional and fully verifiable election tally results.
The passage of the nonpartisan HB 2555 into law is crucially needed to ensure fair, free, and accurate elections throughout our state. This will require broad support from Illinois voters, students and organizations.
To join in this very important initiative, please contact your State Representative and State Senator. Ask them to support and vote for the Illinois Election Integrity Act, when it is presented before the Illinois General Assembly.
How Best To Contact My Lawmakers?
Phone calls, e-mails, letters and text messages are excellent ways to reach out to your state representatives and state senators to share your views. Personal visits to their district or Springfield offices can be a very effective way to communicate your support for HB 2555.
Guidance on how to identify your State Representative and State Senator is located on our RESOURCES page, and best ways to reach out to them can be found by clicking GET INVOLVED.
Below is a single-page summary of HB 2555 that may be shared with your lawmakers, local officials, and other voters.
THE ILLINOIS ELECTION INTEGRITY ACT (HB 2555)
103rd SESSION ILLINOIS GENERAL ASSEMBLY – 2023-2024
House Bill 2555 provides a single solution to a complex election integrity problem.
HB 2555 introduces critically needed external, independent review throughout the entire election system.
HB 2555 does this through three mandatory election system audits:
- Election Day audit consisting of a count of a random sample of 10% of the paper ballots cast in each precinct, to be conducted in the polling place, by a second trained shift of election judges, immediately upon close of the polls.
- A parallel central tabulation audit of all votes cast as recorded on precinct poll tapes, by licensed certified public accountants, within 72 hours of the close of the polls.
- Pre-election and post-election operational audits of county election systems, conducted by licensed CPAs, that identify and report election system security weaknesses, together the steps necessary to remediate security weaknesses discovered.
The introduction of these three election audits, two of which to be conducted by licensed CPAs, will provide extremely high assurance, that votes and ballots are being accurately recorded, accurately tabulated and accurately reported.
No U.S. election system provides anything close to the comprehensive level of external, independent, review mandated by HB 2555.
The estimated cost of implementing HB 2555 over a two-year general election cycle is approximately $4,000,000 covering both a Primary and a General Election.
The bulk of this cost can be covered by voluntary citizen contributions made to The Illinois Ballot Integrity Fund, maintained by the Illinois State Board of Elections, and by voluntary check offs, made by taxpayers on Illinois Form 1040.
HB 2555 wasintroduced by State Representative Suzanne Ness (66th District) on February 15, 2023
ELECTION INTEGRITY IS ALL ABOUT AUDITS – INDEPENDENT EXTERNAL REVIEW
Illinois lawmakers require over 9200 governmental units to submit annual financial statements, audited by licensed independent CPAs, to the Illinois State Comptroller.
The annual cost of these audits for Illinois exceeds $100 million per year.
Kane County’s audit cost for the fiscal year ending 11/30/21 was $129,835.
Illinois lawmakers do not require external independent audits of computerized election reports prepared by elected county clerks.
Illinois elections are currently “faith-based” affairs. in which voters are expected to have faith in vote tallies that are certified by elected county clerks, who are not themselves certified accountants.
County clerks can offer no independently verified evidence that the election reports they produce are free from unintentional error or intentional fraud.
Why have Illinois lawmakers placed such a heavy emphasis on the integrity of financial statements prepared by governmental units, and little or no emphasis on the integrity of election reports prepared by Illinois county clerks?
Many election contests have been decided by handful of votes.
HB 2555, The Illinois Election Integrity Act, mandates robust election audits conducted by licensed independent CPAs, for primary and general elections.
The estimated cost of these audits is approximately $4 million for a two-year election cycle.
Most, if not all of this cost, can be covered by voluntary contributions to The Illinois Election Integrity Fund, administered by the Illinois Board of Elections.
The cost to Illinois residents is approximately $.32 per election cycle or $.16 per year.
Is $.16 per citizen per year too much to pay for election accuracy and integrity?