More competition, a more diverse candidate pool, more time spent with regular voters, freedom from conflicts of interest—these are among the accomplishments of Arizona and Maine’s revolutionary Clean Elections laws as shown in the video "Clean Elections: Changing the Face of America.", narrated by Bill Moyers.
The video (click on the image to your right) features candidates on the campaign trail, lively testimonials by citizens on how their states’ voluntary full public financing systems has changed politics, and assessments of how well Clean Elections works by campaign finance reform experts.
Haddow Communications produced the video for Public Campaign with assistance from the Arizona Clean Elections Institute Inc. and Doug Clopp of Maine. Run time is approximately 14 minutes. Funding from Carnegie Corporation of New York.
The Illinois Ballot Integrity Project wants your support to bring these two bills to the House floor for debate and passage.
We invite you to read more and then join the Illinois Ballot Integrity Project and the Illinois Clean Elections Foundation in the Clean Elections Campaign
Free, fair, honest and accurate elections are central to all other issues—peace, affordable health care, a clean and sustainable environment, the separation between church and state, and a quality education for our children. All of these issues are the spokes in the wheel of our future. How that wheel turns and in what direction it takes us is determined by elections, the very hub of our democracy.
Intelligent, informed and committed people like you are talking about the social injustices in America: the widening gap between rich and poor, the crisis in healthcare, about global warming and the despoiling of our environment. You are finally hearing some truths about the War on Iraq and many other issues that are vitally important. But we suggest to you that without securing our right to vote, the opportunity to correct these societal ills, stop an unjust war, or reverse the destruction of our planet will pass us by.
The grossly mis-named Help America Vote Act (HAVA) created a $3.8 billion pot of gold for voting machine companies who have sold $100 million worth of unsecure, unreliable and inaccurate voting machines to Illinois election officials. The so-called voter-verifiable paper audit trails and tiny random audits called for in the Illinois Election Code are only a band-aid on a gaping wound. Diebold, Sequoia and ES&S count 95% of Illinois votes electronically, and citizens now rely on invisible ballots in nearly every jurisdiction. The opportunities for error and fraud abound.
A recent Zogby poll of likely voters found that a majority of Americans—61%—are aware of news reports of flaws in electronic voting machines and 92% want members of the general public to be able to watch votes be counted following an election—so you know there’s something wrong with privatizing elections in America. The majority of voters in Illinois want to be assured that elections are honest, fair and transparent.
In January, 2009, a survey of Illinois citizens completed for the Joyce Foundation found that:
"Opinions of the state legislature have sharply worsened in recent months (49% of residents now believe the legislature is doing a poor job compared to 26% who said so in April-May 2008). Concerns about corruption and the influence of money in politics are deeper than the current scandal and are likely to continue even if the governor is removed."
61% of Illinois residents are extremely concerned about corruption in state government and more than half (54%) about the influence of money in state politics...
89% of registered voters say their legislator's support for legislation to reduce money in politics would be important to their decision to re-elect their legislator with half (50%) saying it would be very important….
78% say passing “tougher campaign finance laws that ban contributions by corporations to candidates and political parties” will make a difference.
76% say “tougher campaign laws that ban contributions by unions to candidates and political parties” and 74% favor limits on the amount of money individuals can give to political candidates and political parties” will make a difference.
71% believe “public financing of political candidates will make a difference in helping to make state government work better."
66% support the creation of a new state agency to vigorously enforce Illinois' campaign finance laws
Concerns about corruption exceed concerns over the economy (50%), jobs (45%), and the state budget (46%).
(See the full text of the above report: CLICK HERE. Scroll down to "Illinois Residents See Broad Corruption in State Government and Seek Action for Change.")
Here's how we can address many of these issues:
The Illinois Clean Elections Act seeks public financing of candidates to reduce the influence of large donations in return for political favors.
The Illinois Ballot Integrity Act would guarantee a paper ballot for all voters and amend Illinois election law to include a random 10% hand-counted audit of all ballots cast in each precinct on election night to ensure the electronic tally is accurate.
We ask that you support these bills by writing to your Illinois State Representative and tell them you support clean elections and ask your representative to take action to help pass these important election integrity bills.
A companion Bill, HB887, the Judicial Campaign Financing Act, extends public financing to campaigns for Justices of the Supreme Court and Appellate Courts in Illinois.
The Illinois Clean Election Act as HB1640, and its successor, HB1324, is the first introduction in several years of a bill to require public financing of Constitutional State Officers, State Senators and Representatives.
The Act would establish a voluntary method of public financing of the campaigns of candidates for Governor, State Senator, and State Representative (An amendment will be offered to include Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Treasurer and Comptroller.)
The bill amends the State Finance Act to create the Illinois Clean Elections Fund as a special fund in the State treasury, administered by the State Board of Elections. The Act would amend the Illinois Income Tax Act to create an individual tax return checkoff in support of the Fund as well as setting campaign expenditure limits for the primary and general elections.
IBIP also urges concerned citizens to write to their Illinois State Representative in support of the Illinois Clean Elections Act.
The IBIP Drafted Illinois Ballot Integrity Act was introduced in 95th General Assembly.
Representative Mike Boland (D-71) of Moline and was reintroduced in the 96th General Assembly as HB1323, the Illinois Ballot Integrity Act is a bill drafted by members of IBIP designed to take the next steps forward in improving on the amendments to the Illinois Election Code adopted by the 94th Greneral Assembly in 2005.
The Act, if adopted, will amend the Illinois Election Code (10 ILCS 5/) and require that each election authority in Illinois:
(i) conduct an election day audit of a random sample of 10% of votes cast and
(ii) provide for the performance by one or more independent auditors of post-election parallel tabulations and audits; and it provides for the scope of the audits and the resulting reports.
It would also require that optical scan technology and direct recording electronic voting systems meet certain federal and independent testing standards.
With respect to early voting, the Act requires that an election authority using only direct recording electronic voting systems have paper ballots available for all voters wishing to use them.
The bill also provides for strengthening the pre-election Logic and Accuracy Testing (LAT) of electronic voting machines by requiring that these public tests be performed prior to the beginning of actual voting.
In addition, the bill's provisions include a requirement that only human-readable voter-verifiable paper records produced by touch-screen voting devices be used in post-election counts and audits and prohibits the use of bar codes that voters can't read.