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Transparency and the DuPage County Election Commission

admin 22 February 2008 2 Comments

Recently the Illinois Attorney General determined that the DuPage County Election Commission has been in non-compliance with the Illinois Local Records Act for

decades. Specifically, the election commission destroyed records without the required transparency to state officials. Election commission officials will

not disclose what records were destroyed and when they were destroyed. DuPage election commission officials continue to maintain that record destruction transparency is “unnecessary paperwork.”

Since the Illinois Attorney General issued an official

opinion about the election record destruction and published the opinion at the Attorney General website, there really would not be anything else to say, except

for the fact that the DuPage States Attorney, who requested the opinion, has declined to prosecute the election commission.

State law says that non-compliance with the Illinois Local Records Act is a felony. Enforcement of the law would include an audit of remaining records and an attempt to determine when records were destroyed, especially election records from federal elections.

But even if the non-transparent destruction of election records were not a felony, the DuPage County Election Commission is still a public policy train wreck. The election commission spent millions of federal dollars on Diebold electronic touch screen

voting machines that most DuPage voters do not trust and refuse to use. The Diebold Corporation is

currently under investigation by the Department of Justice for cooking the books of their election machine division and reporting far greater profits

than were actually made in the election division of the Diebold Corporation.

It is not clear what, if any complicity local election jurisdictions across the country had with Diebold in cooking Diebold’s books. At the DuPage County Election Commission there is no way to know because records

have been destroyed.

The DOJ investigation comes on top of the report that Diebold’s original election tabulation software was programmed by a felon. In the face of these facts, one has to wonder just what are the contract vetting standards of the DuPage County Election Commission?

The press has reported on a DuPage election commission contract with a trucking and warehouse firm owned by the former Chairman of the DuPage election commission’s family and on the endorsement of election vendor products by another official of the election

commission.

The real problem at the election commission is that its operations run counter to the tradition of

American public policy. The core principles of American public policy are few in number, simple and non-political.

We know that all men are created equal, not in their ability to make a living or to play a sport, but equal in their mortality and equal in their need for protection against the abuse of government.

The United States House Judiciary Committee is currently investigating the cases of some forty “allegations of selective prosecution,” commonly known

as frame-ups, so clearly protection from the abuse of

government is a much needed public policy imperative.

To protect against the abuse of government our founders gave us checks and balances. The destruction of election records by the DuPage County Election

Commission destroys the checks and balances of the election process. Election record destruction is far

worse than illegal. It’s a public policy disaster that eats at the very heart of the integrity of both local and federal elections.

It is fundamental in of our form of government that public policy be directed to the long term and to benefit the many, and not to the short term benefit of the few. And it’s readily apparent that improper destruction of election records by the DuPage County

Election Commission could easily be a short term benefit to a very few who seek to manipulate the

election process.

The improper destruction of election records in DuPage County also smears our international reputation. At least on a good day, we hold ourselves to a higher

standard and as a beacon to the world. When the world sees Americans destroy election records, election officials of other nations take notice.

Before international election observers were barred from being observers of upcoming elections in Russia, Russsian election officials visted the DuPage County

Election Commission to study the DuPage election process.

Only this past February 5 primary election night, properly credentialed DuPage citizen election observers who sought to observe the vote tabulation

process in DuPage County were barred from observation, ejected from public area of tabulation observation, and threatened with arrest if they did not leave

DuPage County facilities. When volunteer election observers are threatened with arrest there is a

reasonable presumption that something is very wrong with the election process in DuPage County.

The Election Committee of the State legislature needs to investigate why it is that DuPage County voter registration trends have little correlation with demographics and little correlation with voter registration trends of other election jurisdictions in the Chicago metropolitan area.

After an investigation, the Illinois legislature needs to bring DuPage County into full compliance with state and federal election law and into full compliance with the Illinois Local Records Act.

DuPage County is the only county in Illinois to have its own election commission. It isn’t working. The legislature should sunset the DuPage County Election

Commission.

2 Comments »

  • Gordon MacKenzie said:

    This is a remarkable pastiche of lies and misinformation. Your hit piece here is worse than anything you accse the DuPage BOEC of doing.

    You have might noted, for example, that the Illinois Election Code requires that election materials be destroyed after a set period of time, and that the DuPage BOEC was following the requirements of the Election Code (which conflicts with the general Illinois Local Records Retention Act).

    You might also have noted that the “most DuPage voters” don’t really know anything about the equipment used, or that most voters don’t use the electronic equipment because the main system used in DuPage is an optical scan system (or that the electronic equipment – at least one unit per precinct – is required in order to comply with federal law as to handicapped accessability).

    But, of course, that might have shown up your own unfounded bias here, mightn’t it?

  • Kevin O'Donnell said:

    Disagreement with the official Illinois Attorney General legal opinion which cited the DuPage County Election Commission for non-compliance with the Illinois Local Records Act would be best addressed directly to the Illinois Attorney General.

    Disagreement with the need to investigate a public corporation that cooks its books, should be addressed to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

    Those who wish to argue that non-compliance with the Illinois Local Records Act should not continue to be a felony under Illinois State Statute need to explain to their state legislators why it is sound public policy for the DuPage County Election Commission or any government body in Illinois, to be permitted to engage in non-transparent record destruction.

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