Illinois Election-Problems Clearinghouse

Sponsored by the Illinois Illinois Ballot Integrity Project, a non-partisan civic group.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Thanks for visiting the Illinois Election-Problems Clearinghouse!

April 17th will be the fourth election in which Chicago and Cook County will depend on electronic voting machines. The first two elections were so stricken with problems that even the national media took notice, and Chicago and Cook County suspended payments to the voting-machine vendor. Problems also were experienced in February's elections this year. There's no reason to believe that such troubles are behind us.

In the face of such expected setbacks, we again offer this blog--
1) To help citizens effectively route their reports of election problems.
2) To collect and preserve citizens' writeups of problems.
3) To allow each citizen to publish his/her writeup on the Internet--
instantly, word for word. (No equivalent service is offered elsewhere.)

So, jump right in! Use the links below to--
Call in a problem that needs immediate attention.
Read the reports. (Click here, or just scroll down.)
Post a written report (as a "comment").
Publish audio or video record of a problem.
Review archived reports. (See list at top right of this page.)
Contact the clearinghouse moderator.

If current reports aren't easily viewable here, try this alternate page.

Thanks for participating. And keep checking back!


  • At 6:39 AM, Blogger Roy Lipscomb said…

    Here are the Posting Guidelines:
    * Very long reports are OK.
    * Please specify--
       1) your county,
       2) your town,
       3) your ward,
       4) the date and time of occurrence.
    * Your name and precinct are desirable, but optional.
    * You may use "Anonymous" as your identity.
    * Check back later for responses.


  • At 6:23 AM, Anonymous Amanda said…

    Our election went pretty smoothly (low turn-out, fully staffed, only had to reboot DREs three times.) With no lines to worry about, people seemed to prefer the DREs about 2-1.

    My concerns about security linger:

    My understanding is that the memory card ports and the paper rolls for the DREs are supposed to come to us sealed, and the memory port for the optical scan should be locked. Is this true? We had to seal everything, and the optical scanner memory port was unlocked.

    What's the point of putting on seals that can be easily broken and replaced if no one is keeping track of the numbers? (We were actually told not to write the numbers down in training, and when we did have seals for the memory port back in November, no one gave us the seal numbers.)

    Why is the wireless transmitter for the consolidator/card activator on all day? I know it's so they can be sure the communication works before they need it, but it still seems foolish to leave a wireless network to the consolidator running all day if it's not really needed.

  • At 12:30 PM, Blogger Roy Lipscomb said…

    Ward 49, Precinct 22

    I arrived about 4:30 pm and left about 6:30 pm. I was also able to spend some time observing another precinct's polling operation, in the same room.

    * There were only four judges. One of the judges told me that the missing judge had called and said she wouldn't be able to attend.

    * At 4:57 pm, all lights and power went out for about two seconds. When power was restored, the voting machines seem to have been unaffected.

    * Several people stated that around 10 am, one voter circled her choice on the ballot instead of drawing a line to complete the arrow. She then tried twice, without success, to get the optical scan machine to accept her ballot. After she asked for and received help, the optical scan machine accepted her ballot.

    * The precinct has 422 registered voters. Sixty-nine of them cast early ballots. As of 5:25 pm, 140 had cast in-precinct ballots.

    Ward 49, Precinct 23

    * At 4:30 pm, the optical scan machine went totally dead. It remained that way until a technician finally arrived and repaired it at 5:30 pm.

    During this time, eight or nine voters marked ballots. The ballots were deposited into the precinct's "strong box." After the optical scan machine was revived, the unprocessed ballots were removed from the strong box and fed successfully into the machine.

    As of 6:30 pm,

    * 118 voters had cast ballots in the precinct. The precinct also received 32 early votes.

    * Only two voters had attempted to use the DRE. One did so successfully, the other gave up and used a paper ballot instead.

  • At 12:58 PM, Blogger Roy Lipscomb said…

    [Posted for a friend]

    Ward 69, Pct. 1

    One voter couldn't get her ballot to be accepted by the opscan machine. She sought help from a judge. It turned out that the voter had indicated her choice by putting a checkmark in front of the candidate's name, instead of marking the ballot in the proper way. The judge helped her to mark her ballot properly, and the ballot was then accepted by the opscan machine.


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