Here are some links to voting legislation: Links open a new window. Close the new window to return to this page.
Help America Vote Act (HAVA)
Voter confidence legislation. including U.S. Rep. Rush Holt’s H.R. 550 bill and Senator Bill Graham’s similar S. 1980 bill.
Both these bills mandate a Verified Voter Paper Audit Trail. Find out more HERE.
More verified voter legislation HERE
A Guide to Illinois HB 1988 (Amendments to the Illinois Election Code) LINK
Illinois Election Code (10 ILCS 5/)
A Guide to the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
FOIA Sample Letter - 1st Request - MSWord.
Here are links to some official Federal, State and Local sites with information about voting, campaign finance, elections and legislation:
The Federal Election Commission (FEC) enforces Federal campaign finance laws.
Election Assistance Commission - Responsible for rulemaking and certification of election procedures, systems and equipment (voting machines).
Illinois State Board of Elections
Cook County Clerk
Chicago Board of Elections
DuPage County Election Commission
To see a list of names and titles, some e-mail addresses and links to those local Illinois officials with websites, GoTo: Election Authorities Information.
On April 27, 2006 the Cook County Board of Commissioners held a hearing to
examine the March 21 primary debacle. Testimony was heard from Cook County Clerk, David Orr, Chicago Board of Election Commissioners chair, Langdon Neal and more than 30 election activists.
IBIP submitted its "Analysis and Recommendations" and five members of IBIP made additional statements. The Board issued a lengthly Report and passed a resolution calling for many improvements in the administration of elections in Chicago and Cook County. The Chicago Board of Election Commissioners and the Cook County Clerk were required to submit a plan by June 15th and report progress at the first of each month. We have a pending FOIA request for the plan.
Election Defense Alliance - LINK The EDA is a new national organization which will coordinate national efforts toward election reform. The Illinois Ballot Integrity Project is member organization.
VoteTrustUSA - LINK
Voter-Verified Paper Ballots - LINK
Election Reform Organization - LINK
Election Reform Agenda - Common Cause - LINK
Black Box Voting Org - Citizen investigations and forums - LINK
The Open Voting Consortium - a group of techies that have developed open-source, free software to convert almost any computer into a voting machine.
The Constitution Project - LINK
National Ballot Integrity Project - LINK
Voters Unite - A prime resource for vendor information and state-by-state info - LINK
The Free Press - An alternative to MSM - Many voting articles - LINK
Velvet Revolution - LINK
Vote Fraud - LINK
Election Online Org - LINK
The Election Incident Reporting System (EIRS) is an integrated set of computer tools for recording and analyzing information about voting problems before, during, and after elections.
Center for Voting and Democracy - studies the impact of voting systems on political representation, proportional representation, voter turnout, and the influence of money in elections.
Here are a variety of reports including the GAO Report that was released last fall, affirming many of the
contentions of voting activists. Close the new window to return to this page. For more documents see the Archive.
GAO Report and accompanying News Release
Myth Breakers Picks up where Black Box Voting (above) leaves off. Version 2, released January 2005. Includes cost analysis of the various voting strategies,
and machine performance in the November 2004 election.
Cost Comparison of DREs showing increased expenses versus scanners.
Voters Unite - 29 Jul 2005 (126 KB)
This list is our best estimate as to what electronic voting system components, models, software and/or firmware versions have been or will be certified by the Illinois State Board of Elections.
Compare the IBIP List with the SBOE List and you will immediately see the differences. Thus far, the SBOE has denied IBIP's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for additional detail.
The Board granted two-year interim certification to the Sequoia 400-C ballot scanner, the Insight in-precint optical scanner, WinEDS central count system and the Card Activator which also combines the totals of the DREs and optical scanners.
The Board's action was again on a short-notice telephonic conference.
Feb 10, 2006. Illinois State Board of Elections certifies Sequoia electronic voting system components.
Feb 6, 2006. Illinois State Board of Elections adopts "short notice" policy for certification! On February 6, 2006, the Board convened on a same-day notice and certified the Hart InterCivic Ballot Now system. While the notice is dated February 3, 2006, it was not publicly posted until February 6, 2006.
Apparently concerned about the Board's violation of Section 2.02(a) of the Illinois Open Meetings Act which mandates a 48-hour notice requirement, the Board changed it's website on 10 Feb to show a posting date of Feb 4th!
This followed a "short-notice" on January 31, 2006, when the Board announced that it would consider certification of the Hart InterCivic eSlate touch screen on Feburary 3rd. The Board adjourned its meeting on Feb 3rd but did not give notice that it would reconvene
until February 6, 2006 to consider certification of the Hart InterCivic Ballot Now system, which the Board has now certified as well, even though the Ballot Now system was not on the original February 3rd agenda.
Both Hart InterCivic devices were opposed by the Illinois Ballot Integrity Project on the basis of lack of testing for security flaws and known malfunctions in Boulder County, Colorado and Yakima County, Washington in 2004 and 2005.
See Hart InterCivic in the News.
Both the meetings of February 3rd and February 6th were conducted by telephonic conference call as was the meeting on January 27th
when the Board certified the Diebold AccuVote-TSX touch screen voting terminal.
California is "Ground Zero" in terms of what's going on in elections. With the suit filed on March 20th against the
Secretary of State seeking to overturn his certification of Diebold, the action has heated up. The SOS site has a number of important
resource documents on Sequoia, ES&S, Hart InterCivic, Diebold and other systems. Staff and consultant reports, volume testing and
certification results are all Here.
IBIP urges all concerned citizens to participate in the election process, either as an election judge or pollwatcher. If you can't spend the entire day serving as an election judge, pollwatching may be
for you. It's an opportunity to be involved in the election in a positive way and pollwatching assignments for as few as two hours are available.
If you want to be a pollwatcher, you need to know the ins and outs of the job and how to participate effectively. To help you, IBIP has created the Pollwatcher's Toolkit
to help you learn about the duties and responsibilities of a pollwatcher, the dos and don'ts and a quick primer on Illinois Election Law. The Pollwatcher's Toolkit can be viewed, downloaded and printed: CLICK HERE!
NOTE: The Toolkit is a large Adobe PDF file (about 1.1MB) and may take a short time (45-60 seconds) to load. Download Now
Do you want only the Incident Report & Affidavits? You can Download them here (6 pp - 222 KB).
Continued from the "What's New" page . . .
According to the legislative synopsis, the Internet Voting Commission Act, “Creates a commission appointed by the legislative leaders to study and recommend to the General Assembly a system of voting via the Internet at elections in 2012 and thereafter.” Cloaked in reassuring terms like “study” and “commission,” this bill is masquerading as a feasibility study of Internet voting.
On closer examination, however, we find that the commission is not the sort of blue-ribbon panel one associates with this type of endeavor, one composed of academics, computer and communications experts, security gurus and voting systems mavens, but in reality is a twelve-member (six after Senate Amendment #1) ad hoc joint committee of the Illinois House and Senate, charged, not with determining the feasibility of cyber voting, but rather with recommending a specific “system of voting via the Internet” by the end of this legislative session.
If enacted in its present form, HB 85 could allow the "committee" to recommend to their colleagues adoption of a "system of Internet Voting" without "studying" Internet Voting per se, or ever reaching the threshold question as to whether-or-not Cyber Voting is feasible, viable or even desirable!
House Amendment No. 1 is especially troubling, providing that the “commission” be created "within the State Board of Elections." We might conclude that the intent of this amendment is to remove the deliberations of the "Commission" from the ordinary disclosure of the General Assembly (public hearings, transcripts, voting records, etc.) to the less transparent functioning of an appointed administrative body.
HB 85 envisions the committee's recommendations as eventually being enacted through enabling legislation – presumably amendments to the Illinois Election Code. And, the mechanism is already in place: HB 92, the shell “Internet Voting Act,” stands ready as a convenient repository for the recommendations dictated by Speaker Madigan and Senate President Cullerton.
Taken as a whole, the Internet Voting Commission Act, as amended, virtually mandates the implementation of Internet voting in Illinois beginning with the 2012 Presidential election.
We urge you to TAKE ACTION TODAY! Write or call your State Senator and Representative and urge them to VOTE NO on HB 85.
Calls are effective, but we strongly recommend that you make your views known in writing.
If you don't know who your Senator or Representative is, try this ZIP Search:
My Elected Officials
Find and contact your federal, state, and local officials.
responsible for the unseemly haste with which HB 85 is being pushed through the General Assembly. (Senator Cullerton was the original Chief Sponsor of HB 85 in the Senate.)
The Chicago North Side - South Side Axis at Work
House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-22) and Senate President John Cullerton (D-6) are largely
If you think that a stealth bill like HB 85, which threatens to remove transparancy from the election process is the wrong approach for Illinois, why not let them know that you're watching . . . and you don't like what they're doing!
Internet Voting has become a hot topic in Illinois with the introduction of two bills in the 96th General Assembly. HB 85, the Internet Voting Commission Act, and a shell bill, HB 92, the Internet Voting Act.
According to the legislative synopsis, the Internet Voting Commission Act, “Creates a commission appointed by the legislative leaders to study and recommend to the General Assembly a system of voting via the Internet at elections in 2012 and thereafter.”
This Bill was introduced by Lou Lang (D-16th, Deputy House Majority Leader, who also introduced its companion, HB 92, the Internet Voting Act of 2009, a shell bill containing only the short title, but presumably positioned to accept the recommendations of the Internet Voting Commission for enactment as amendments to the Illinois Election Code.
Internet Voting is a complex subject and the general opinion of academics and experts in the field is that the technological hurdles it would have to overcome to be considered safe, secure and accurate are currently too numerous to recommend implementation in public elections. A sampling:
“The security problems on the Internet today verge on insoluble. In fact, it’s possible to prove in a mathematical sense that anti-virus software cannot be effective. The attacks that are possible on the integrity of elections run on the Internet are just without limit. I am extraordinarily suspicious of our ability in any near-term model to get Internet voting reliable for something as important as a national election.”
Douglas W. Jones - University of Iowa -Department of Computer Science – Nov, 2006
Dr. Jones' comments are echoed by those of the group which reviewed the Department of Defense SERVE Internet Voting Project and which led to its termination. They are worth quoting at length:
“The real barrier to success is not a lack of vision, skill, resources, or dedication; it is the fact that, given the current Internet and PC security technology, and the goal of a secure, all-electronic remote voting system, the FVAP has taken on an essentially impossible task. There really is no good way to build such a voting system without a radical change in overall architecture of the Internet and the PC, or some unforeseen security breakthrough.
"In fact, no such security breakthrough has occurred, and we remain convinced that there is no way to secure Internet voting . . . The current Internet and PC architectures are both such highly insecure platforms that it is essentially impossible to develop a secure system for voting in federal elections on them . . . Internet voting systems have numerous other fundamental security problems that generally leave them vulnerable to a variety of well-known cyber attacks (insider attacks, denial of service attacks, spoofing, automated vote buying, viral attacks, etc.), any one of which could be catastrophic.
The vulnerabilities we describe cannot be fixed by better design of Internet voting software. They are fundamental in the architecture of the Internet and of PCs and their software. They cannot be eliminated for the foreseeable future. It is quite likely that they will never be eliminated without a wholesale redesign and replacement of much of the hardware and software security systems that are part of, or connected to, today’s Internet . . . We believe it would be irresponsible to put our democracy at risk by allowing votes to be transmitted over the wide-open and insecure Internet.”
- Comments of Drs. Avi Rubin, David Jefferson & Barbara Simon – May, 2007
Below, we've assembled a non-exhaustive list of articles, papers and opinions so that you can become informed and reach your own conclusions as to the viability of Internet Voting. If you've come across other information that ought to be shared, please send the link and a brief synopsis to the
"A Threat Analysis on UOCAVA Voting Systems," National Institute of Standards and Technology - December, 2008
"No Time to Vote - Challenges Facing America's Overseas Military Voters,"
Pew Center on the States - January, 2009
"A comment on the May 2007 DoD report on Voting Technologies for UOCAVA Citizens,"David Jefferson, Avi Rubin and Barbara Simons - May, 2007
"Internet Voting Revisited:
Security and Identity Theft Risks of the DoD’s
Interim Voting Assistance System," David Jefferson, Avi Rubin, Barbara Simons, and David Wagner - October, 2006
"A Security Analysis of the Secure
Electronic Registration and Voting Experiment (SERVE)," David Jefferson, Avi Rubin, Barbara Simons, and David Wagner -January, 2004
"Security Aspects of Internet Voting,"
International Conference on Systems Sciences - January, 2004
"Computer Technologists’ Statement on Internet Voting" - Verified Voting - September, 2008
"Internet Voting Fatally Flawed," Roy Lipscomb - August, 2008
"The Democratic Party's Dangerous Experiment," David Dill & Barbara Simon, Vote Trust - February, 2008
"Internet Voting: Bad Or Good Idea?" George Hulme - February, 2008
"Statement on Electronic Voting," Dr Rebecca Mercuri - March, 2007
"We vote, and how! Forget Internet voting, security expert says," Chicago Tribune - November, 2006
"Panel members find security flaws in Internet voting system," Computer World - January, 2004
"Report Says Internet Voting System Is Too Insecure to Use," New York Times - January, 2004
May 25, 2007. IBIP Opposes National Voter ID Law.
Senators Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Christopher "Kit" Bond (R-MO have introduced an amendment to the current immigration bill before the Senate which attaches a pernicious photo ID requirement to the present bill.
This amendment, unrelated to the basic purpose of the proposed immigration legislation, would amend the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) to impose a nation-wide requirement for restrictive photo voter Identification for all Federal Elections. Specifically, the amendment calls for a renumbering of §§ 304 and 305 and insertion of a new § 304 to provide for such ID by January 1, 2008 - effective for the next presidential primaries and general election:
SEC. 304. IDENTIFICATION OF VOTERS AT THE POLLS
(a) In General.--Notwithstanding the requirements of section 303(b), each State shall require individuals casting ballots in an election for Federal office in person to present a current valid photo identification issued by a governmental entity before voting.
(b) Effective Date.--Each State shall be required to comply with the requirements of subsection (a) on and after January 1, 2008.
Here's what Mary G. Wilson, President of the League of Women Voters had to say in their press release:
“Senator McConnell’s amendment represents a cheap political trick to keep legal, eligible voters out of the electoral process. Photo ID requirements disproportionately stifle the voices of people of color, the elderly, young people, and others. By tying a photo ID requirement to an already-contentious immigration bill, Senator McConnell is merely attempting to rouse the fears of the American people right before the beginning of one of the most patriotic American holiday weekends.”
“This type of political manipulation has absolutely no place in American democracy.”
“This amendment demonstrates that some lawmakers have become shameless in their efforts to manipulate the election process AND the hearts and souls of the American people for political gain. Our nation has spent most of the last century breaking down barriers to citizen voter participation and the right to vote,” concluded Wilson. “League members will continue to do what it takes to protect eligible voters from new, discriminatory obstacles in the 21st Century and we hope that the silent majority in this country will join us in denouncing tactics such as this.”
IBIP has written to both Senator Dick Durbin and Senator Barak Obama opposing the legislation. A copy of the letter to Senator Obama, setting forth IBIP's arguments against Photo ID, is here
IBIP urges all members and interested parties to write to Members of the Senate and House opposing this legislation. Here is a generic form of IBIP's letter which you can modify and adapt to your own views on Photo ID.
April 14, 2007. IBIP Opposes HR 811 as Currently Written - Proposes Amendments.
The Illinois Ballot Integrity Project has adopted a position in opposition to the current "Holt Bill" (HR 811 - Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2007). IBIP's amendments call for the banning of Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting machines and for permanent paper ballots marked by hand or non-tabulating ballot marking devices, the abolishment of the Federal Election Assistance Commission (EAC),
10% audits of all Federal races conducted on election night, paper ballots for Military and Overseas voters and the banning of tallying system connections to the Internet.
A copy of the letter sent to the Chairwoman of the Committee on House Administration, Representative Juanita Millender-McDonald, CA-37, and each Member of the Committee, is HERE.
IBIP Members and others are urged to write to their elected representatives. A draft copy of a letter in MSWord is HERE.
Here is a list (with contact information) of Illinois Members who have co-sponsored HR 811.
The IBIP Advisory Committee and Board also approved IBIP's endorsement of the Voters Unite Essential Revisions to HR 811 statement.
April 5, 2007. Illinois Ballot Integrity Project Announces Internet Blog for April 17th Election Problems
"Blog the Election" at the Illinois Election-Problems Clearinghouse.
Voters are urged to share their experiences on IBIP's blog.
March 27, 2007. IBIP DuPage Chapter presents a Report and Recommendations to the DuPage County Board
The Report which details numerous deficiencies in the election process in Dupage County was presented to the DuPage County Election Commission
more than six weeks ago, but no response has been received. The IBIP DuPage
Chapter decided to approach the DuPage County Board in an attempt to get the Commission to act on IBIP's recommendation to improve the
election process in DuPage County. Click here for IBIP's News Release.
February 7, 2007. IBIP Warns of Possible Errors Arising From Bar Codes on DRE Paper Trails
LINK. Relying on bar-coded vote tallies in Chicago and Cook County could alter audit outcomes and violates the Illinois Election Code
For political commentary and good election issue coverage - try BradBlog
For more articles (some dated) see the Archive.
The following documents consist ofthe most recent White Papers and other resource material prepared by the
Illinois Ballot Integrity Project. Most documents are in PDF and can be downloaded. Each will open in separate window. Close the new window to return to this page.
For more documents see the Archive.
The Case Against DREs (407 KB) - 22 Jan 2006 - Explores the many disadvantages of Direct Record Electronic (touch screen) voting machines and suggests some alternatives.
IBIP Diebold White Paper - 12 Dec 2005 LINK
IBIP Response to Diebold Presentation at SBOE meeting of December 20, 2005 LINK
The Diebold Q&A
These three documents include a set of "16 Questions and Information Requests" from the Illinois State Board of Elections, propounded to Diebold Elections Systems on December 1, 2005, Diebold's Response of December 29, 2005 and
IBIP's Comments of January 9, 2006. See Diebold bob and weave.
IBIP - "The Primary Election of March 21, 2006 - Analysis and Recommendations." On April 27, 2006, the IBIP presented an anlysis of the March 21st Chicago and Cook County
Primary disaster. This 44-page in-depth analysis shows what went wrong and details twelve specific recommendations. Available in PDF.
Voters Unite maintains an extensive listing of voting machine failures and anomolies grouped by state and by vendor.
Each is a relatively extensive PDF of news reports from the late 1990s to present. These listing are an excellent means to get a feel for the pervasiveness of electronic voting failures.
Listings by vendor Listing by state
Animation: "Digital Democracy" A two-minute humorous animation (185K) by Mark Fiori.
Diebold Variations - a compendium of humorous (and unfortunately often factual) posters spoofing Diebold.