Last year, our firm was invited to consider bidding on the Suburban Cook County audit of electronic voting equipment. We passed on a chance to bid on an RFP I deemed a waste of tax payer money. After having attempted to have a sit down with elected officials to share my concerns, I took some of my findings public and reported them to the press.
I have attempted to reach out directly to various elected officials and governmental agencies in an attempt to garner the necessary attention to create reform with regard to how we elect our officials so that our democratic process has integrity at the ballot box.
Recently, I have been consumed with the fallout from discovering and blogging about a recent security breach with the chicagoelections.com website, the third of its kind reported since 2006. This is a concerning situation and one that needs to be remedied. My reporting on our firm's findings to the public thus far has been limited in an effort to allow law enforcement time to ensure that any leaked information was not further disseminated.
It is clear to me that effective steps need to be taken to reform our election process. Some of these steps should include a halt to purely electronic votes and tabulations that lack a simultaneous tamper evident paper trail, secured by a truly tamper evident seal. Ohio passed a law recently that requires a printed voter verified audit trail that allows a voter to verify their vote selections before finalizing their ballot. This measure is something I would strongly urge Illinois and Indiana to adopt. Presently, there are jurisdictions within Illinois and Indiana that lack a real-time tamper evident paper audit trail. Until reform is brought about in this area, voters should contact their elected officials and insist upon reform and change.
Introduction of new voting equipment that has been vetted by independent computer security personnel is needed to ensure that effective measures of control are in place across the nation.
There are a number of election related stories as well as news coverage that our firm has been involved with over the last few weeks that I wanted to share with you that either involved our firm directly or was written by our staff. I would encourage you to pass this information on to your friends, colleagues and elected officials in an effort to bring about much needed reform.