• Dr. Lora Chamberlain

Important conf. call tonight, Monday, April 27th, 7pm about Vote By Mail in IL.

There is a National Council of Jewish Women, Chicago North Shore Section conf. call tonight, Monday, April 27th, 7pm about Vote By Mail in IL. - If you haven’t yet registered, please do so ASAP at https://conta.cc/2RWIRsM. You can also register at https://ncjwcns.org/events/vbm/. When you respond you’ll receive a link to the City Salon. In tumultuous times, we work together to ensure a safe and fair election. The first Tuesday in November is Election Day, as is written into the US Constitution, is key to democracy, and it has never been postponed. Get your questions answered by experts about how remote voting can be done in Illinois. Speakers Amber McReynolds is the CEO for the National Vote At Home Institute and Coalition and is the former Director of Elections for Denver, Colorado. Alisa Kaplan leads Reform for Illinois’ policy development, advocacy, and research initiatives. Jan Dorner is Vice President of Voter Service for IL League of Women Voters. Background on Voting By Mail The position of our legislators is changing almost daily—stay current (or up to the minute) by coming to the April 27th Salon. - Watch the Vote at Home Institute’s video “A secure and time-tested way to put voters first” on YouTube. (see a 2-minute intro video) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fwRfaTvBPo&feature=youtu.be Additional background - Reform for Illinois has important details here: https://www.reformforillinois.org/election-reform/ and https://www.reformforillinois.org/legislative-initiatives/ - League of Women Voters of Illinois. “How to vote” at https://www.lwvil.org/how-to-vote.html - The voting rights primer from Courts Matter is attached • Please email chicagosalon@ncjwcns.org with any questions. and we’ll forward to Amber, Alisa, and Jan. NCJW CNS City Salon Here are recommendations from Clean Count Cook County - you can email questions to the speakers based on our recommendations to chicagosalon@ncjwcns.org: Summary of SB3440 1) Expands absentee ballots from 34 states, to all 50 states without person having to provide a reason. 2) Allows application requests for absentee ballots be submitted electronically, but must be mailed by election day. 3) Permits print-at-home ballots but must also be mailed and postmarked by election day. Currently, only Overseas and Military are allowed print-at-home. NOT RECOMMENDED. 4) Provides $500m in funding to states for additional equipment, printing and mailing etc. 5) S.3440 would go into effect, if 25% of states are under Covid19 or other disasters for up to 180 days after the disaster declaration is lifted. Also, allows individual Governors to declare disasters in their states. Recommendations to Secure Mail-in-Ballots: A) Voter must request Mail-in-Ballot by phone, email or in person. No “automatic” mailing of ballots(can go to wrong addresses, fall into hands of operatives etc.) B) Election Officials must offer tracking of ballots when mailed, returned and counted, so voter knows status of their ballots, similar to how Post Offices and FedEx provide tracking. C) When a voter has requested, but not received the mail-in-ballot by Election Day, Election Judge and Voter should have access to tracking to indicate whether the ballot was delivered to voter’s address, if not delivered, voter must to be allowed to vote a regular in-person ballot at the poll, not a Provisional Ballot(which are mostly not counted). D) Signature verification of returned ballots – Election Officials must provide sorting of ballot envelopes by CD, review by a panel of party representatives and civic organizations to view signature matching process and be allowed to question validity of signatures in real time. Suggest using zoom video conferencing access to facilitate social distancing. E) If a ballot envelope signature is rejected by a vote of the panel, voter must be notified by phone or email and allowed 5 days to provide proof of valid signature. F) No requirement for notarization or witnessing of mail-in-ballot return envelopes. G) Audits – Mail-in-Ballots must be included in Post Election Audits(currently excluded). H) Extend time for Certification of the Results to 30 days after the election, (currently 21 days)to allow Election Officials additional time to process and count the increased mail-in-ballots. I) Voter Lists should not be given to 3rd Party operatives, to preserve voter privacy. J) Exit Polls – state by state should be conducted by public universities and results reported immediately after the close of polls, and made available to the media, candidates, political parties and civic organizations. No adjustment of the poll results to reflect the actual results. Discrepancies between exit polls and reported results outside the margin of error, as determined by an independent statistician should be considered irregular and subject to immediate audit. K) Secret Software, Bar Codes and other ‘proprietary ‘ computer systems should have no place in our democratic voting system. All software used to program the ballots, voting equipment and tabulate the results should be ‘open source’ and can be viewed and certified by computer experts before the election and deposited with the Election Jurisdiction and available to the Media, candidates, political parties and civic organizations under FOIA. For Ballot Marking Devices(BMDs) – the new electronic machines used for Early Voting and Election Day, in Chicago and Cook County, all scanned ballots must be retained by Election Officials for 22 months per Federal requirements as well as the paper ballots and subject to FOIA requests.

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