to Rahm Emmanuel: Stop Voting Fraud!

February 27, 2012 @
Defend the Vote is a joint project of United States Justice Foundation. This email was sent today to Rahm Emanuel and other Chicago politicians. It explains what voter fraud has been taking place and invites each recipient to come to the Chicago Board of Elections meeting. This meeting is taking place tomorrow (2-28-11) at 9:00 a.m. For more information see here:
Greetings Mayor Emanuel, and the City Council;Tomorrow at 9:00 am, the Chicago Board of Elections is meeting.  During the public comments section, Defend the Vote, and others, will be speaking about election security in Chicago.We invite you to join us, or to send someone from your office.  Our study found the ballot box in Chicago was not sealed in 139 instances in Chicago.  This is against Illinois statue which requires sealed ballots.  This is an IMPORTANT issue right before the elections!

We will also discuss early voting in Chicago.  How is it that the Chicago Board of Elections uses non-citizens to administer at some early voting locations in Chicago?  We will play the audio of what Illinois State Board of Election’s Chairman William McGuffage said about this practice.

Defend the Vote seeks to speak about our findings with the City Council, too. This is our third letter to the City Council about this matter.

Sharon Meroni

Sharon Meroni
One West Surrey Lane
[email protected]
December 15, 2011

Rahm Emanuel: Mayor of Chicago

Aldermen and Alderwomen

Proco Joe Moreno      Roberto Maldonado
Bob Fioretti      Walter Burnett, Jr.
Pat Dowell     Jason C. Ervin
William D.Burns     Deborah L. Graham
Leslie A. Hairston     Ariel Reboyras
Roderick T. Sawyer     Regner Ray Suarez
Sandi Jackson     Scott Waguespack
Michelle A. Harris     Richard F. Mell
Anthony Beale     Carrie M. Austin.
John Pope     Rey Colón
James Balcer     Nicholas Sposato
George A. Cardenas     Emma Mitts
Marty Quinn     Timothy M. Cullerton
Edward M. Burke     Margaret Laurino
Toni Foulkes     Patrick J. O’Connor
Joann Thompson     Mary O’Connor
Latasha R.Thomas     Brendan Reilly
Lona Lane     Michele Smith
Matthew J. O’Shea     Thomas Tunney
Willie Cochran    John Arena
Howard Brookins, Jr.    James Cappleman
Ricardo Munoz    Ameya Pawar
Michael R. Zalewski    Harry Osterman
Michael D. Chandler    Joseph A. Moore
Daniel Solis    Debra L. Silverstein

Susan Mendoza – City Clerk

City Hall
121 N. LaSalle Street
Chicago, Il 60602

Dear  Mayor, and Aldermen and Alderwomen, and City Clerk:

Defend the Vote is an Illinois not-for-profit, non-partisan organization with the mission to empower citizens to protect elections.  We focus on three areas: Ballot Access, The Voter, and Casting the Vote.  An important aspect of our activity involves evaluation of security protocols in place to protect the integrity of the vote.

In April 2011, along with Champion News, we conducted a ‘vulnerability assessment and security audit’ of the Chicago Board of Election’s Election Day security procedures. This surprise audit was conducted after multiple irregularities in security in Chicago’s November 2010 and February 2011 Elections were observed.

Our findings document serious flaws in Chicago’s election system.  In Chicago, on Election Day in April 2011, we evaluated 239 polling places on 11 security measures which were taken out of the 2011 Illinois (and Chicago) Election Judge Training Guide. 215 (91%) precincts failed in one or more measures. 139 (59%) precincts were documented with unsealed ballot boxes.

Our report summarizing this audit was peer reviewed and published in Argonne National Laboratory’s October 2011 edition of the prestigious Journal of Physical Security..  The peer-review team consisted of experts in physical security and some with election security expertise.  Dr. Roger Johnston, Ph.D., CPP, is head of the Vulnerability Assessment Team (VAT) at Argonne National Laboratory and Editor of the Journal of Physical Security.  Dr. Johnston found that the security protocols in place were “wholly inadequate” and essentially 100% ineffective in promoting a tamper resistant voting environment. 

Both the Illinois State Board of Elections and the Chicago Board of Elections have received copies of this report. Copies can be downloaded from this link.  This report includes a section on “Additional Vulnerabilities” outlining additional security issues found in Chicago’s elections practices.

Have you seen how the memory devices in your ward are stored? (page 45 )  The pictures say it all … 

Shipped from Washington Street to Pershing Ave in unsecured cardboard boxes, each of these boxes contain the memory devices for an entire Ward’s Election Day equipment.
These boxes were left stacked in the corner location for at least 2 weeks.
In a separate study, Defend the Vote has identified serious irregularities in staffing of early voting sites in Chicago. Along with the Chicago GOP, we uncovered the use of non-citizens operating polling sites and involved with decisions concerning whether or not US citizens can vote.  Incredibly, I-9 forms for 75% of the early voting employees that staff sites in Chicago are not filled out correctly.  Where is the security in early voting?  This evidence proves not in the management of the staff running these sites.

In 2011, Defend the Vote proved and publicized that Illinois has never audited early voting.  In addition, the software that runs the ballot equipment has never been audited by the political parties. When there are recounts, early voting is not included.  18% of Illinois voted through early voting last year.  What does that mean?  Simply, it means that the Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail is not reconciled with the numbers reported on 18% of the vote.

In 2012, Defend the Vote will expand our work to a sampling of polling place procedures statewide.  Our program is called the “VAP” – The Voter Auditor Pollwatching program.  Registered voters will be trained and then provided pollwatching credentials.  After they vote, they will score their precinct for compliance with security protocols.  The Election Day assessment consists of grading compliance at the polling place with security protocols, as well as assessing the ability of the security protocols to secure the vote.  The results will be collected and analyzed statewide.In 2012, in addition to Election Day polling place procedures, Defend the Vote will be looking at security procedures surrounding early and absentee voting, the military vote, and nursing home voting. Finally, part of our program includes reviewing the availability of information to the public about the security of their vote.We seek your assistance in obtaining information concerning polling place security within Chicago and specifically your ward.

Defend the Vote would like to personally present our findings to the Chicago City Council. We seek 30 minutes to present our findings and 30 minutes for discussion. 

Major Emanuel, we are asking you to personally become involved in election reform in Chicago.  As the Major of Chicago, the security of the citizen vote is primary! We invite you to join us in our quest for secure elections in Chicago and across all of Illinois.

We look forward to hearing from all of you!


Sharon Meroni

Sharon Meroni
Executive Director of Defend the Vote

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