Rock Island County GOP Members Request Extra Election Security

Jan 13, 2020

Republicans in Rock Island County are concerned about election returns.

Michelle O'Neill has more.


Republicans Robert Hartley (L), Bill Long, and Russell Christ (R)
Credit Michelle O'Neill / WVIK News

GOP members, Bob Hartley, Bill Long, and Russell Christ have been poll watching for years. And they've asked the Rock Island County Clerk to take extra measures to ensure this year's election results are secure and can't be tampered with.

Christ says five days before an election, the clerk's office holds a mock election to demonstrate how voting machines and tabulators work. It also shows how the computer memory cards are sealed with tape to prove no one has tampered with them.

But he says that demonstration is only for the mobile equipment used at polling places around the county, and his concern is the machines located in the county clerk's office have no security.

That equipment is used several weeks before an election for early voting and counting absentee ballots. 

Robert Hartley says they checked with the Illinois State Board of Elections. And the clerk's office is following the law and is not required to use seals on the equipment located in the Rock Island County building. 

He, Christ, and Long are also concerned that voting returns from the northern part of Rock Island County are sent electronically by a modem located at United Township High School. They would prefer the results be driven to the clerk's office.

In the past County Clerk Karen Kinney has said the building and area where the machines are located are secure. And recently, the sheriff beefed up security at the Rock Island County administration building, and it's now very similar to the courthouse.