Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Well, the election in Aurora went of without any major issues. One interesting thing in my view however.

The Kane County Democratic Party requested a copy of the 'tape' out of each machine (basically the totals, perhaps more I am not sure what they are getting with their copy) including the touch screens used for early voting. There were three machines used for early voting at the election comm. So here is the issue.

I voted early, it now appears looking at the results I am the only person who voted early in the Republican primary in my ward and pct. The fact I voted early is part of the voting record. So by taking the voting record and their copy of the tape the Kane County Democratic Party will basically know exactly who I voted for across the board. Does the Kane County Democratic Party care who I voted for, unlikely. Do I think voting information at this level of granularity should be in anyone's hands, no.

Ok, you may think a bit of a fluke. Well as I understand it they requested this tape from every voting machine. We have two different machines, the scanners and the touch screens.

Do I think they are trying to figure out who voted how this time no.

But lets look at this for November, lets say you are in a position to request and do request 'tape (the paper total)' out of every touch screen. Then you tell your voters to vote touch screen, I think you can ask to do this when you vote and if you ask I don't see how they can stop you from doing so. Since most people will vote optical scan the number of voters on the touch screen will be lower. So you can in theory have a fairly good idea of exactly how you sub-group voted.


update: There was an anonymous post that was signed by someone within the Aurora Democrats (someone I might add who forgot to bring snacks to the count Tuesday night). Since it was signed yet anonymous I am a bit leary of posting it. I will try and summarize his points however.

They are checking to make sure the totals match, they are not trying to figure out how any single person voted. He also pointed out we had/have the chance to request the same thing.

Again sort of like I said above I don't really think they want to figure out how individual people voted (a bit of a corner case) or even to see if there are voting patterns among people who likely used touch screen.

It's just with the information they will have they could and that makes me a bit uncomfortable. Also I strongly suspect at least part of the motivation for looking at the tapes is to try to find an error and use it as a campaign issue against the county clerk (if the roles were reversed I suspect we would do the same). We thought about asking for the tapes but after figuring out the shear volume of paper (hundreds of yards) it just wasn't worth the effort of reviewing it.

Poster, if you are who you say you are e-mail me the name of the person you had at the count Tuesday night and the name of the Republican you watched the count with last November and I will be happy to post your original post. Since I know you I don't want to put words in your mouth.

Second update: I called the Illinois State Board of Elections and the basically told me that there was nothing I could do to correct this issue that the statute allows for tape review at that level. The person I spoke with also said they were aware of the issue and it also exists in small counties that may only have one touch screen that is used just for the disabled.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The collection of the poll tapes at the precinct level by the Aurora Democrats was to ensure the integrity of the elections. The poll tapes were available to our Republican counterparts as well. Our main concern was to prevent potential tampering by having a hard copy of the vote totals at the precinct level and making sure they are equal to what the Aurora Election Commission anf the Kane County Clerk show as results. This effort protects the GOP as much as it protects the Democrats. As far as guessing as to how someone voted because of a single use of a machine, it is the last concern of ours. With 86 precincts, never ending work and some hot races ahead of us, my GOP friends have nothing to worry about.

Alex Arroyo
Aurora Democratic Party