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Board of Elections promotes doomsday scenario over $9,000 bill

Monday, May 29, 2017

* From the Illinois Policy Institute’s news service

Testifying before the House Appropriations-General Services Committee on Sunday, officials from the Illinois State Board of Elections said Senate Bill 6 provides the department with $20.5 million.

But Elections board Chairman Charles Schultz said the appropriation doesn’t account for implementing proposed Automatic Voter Registration legislation because it would take additional funds to update hardware and software.

Schultz also said the elections board’s voting infrastructure would be threatened as its information technology and cyber security vendors, who are already waiting on payment for work that’s been done, could [not] go further without payment.

Board officials also said if there is no agreed-upon budget, they’d have to turn their internet off to maintain network security. The state’s election board suffered a breach last summer where intruders were able to capture some personal voter information, but not signatures or histories, nor was anything changed within the system, the board said.

* AP

The consequences were again hammered home earlier Sunday in testimony before the House General Services Appropriations Committee. Kevin Turner, director of information technology for the Illinois State Board of Elections, said the agency does not have enough computers to quickly dispatch with candidates filing nominating petitions late this fall for the 2018 election. There’s been no money for replacing obsolete work stations and without $25,000 for new ones, lines will be long, Turner said.

“We may be doing it in the parking lot using abacuses,” Turner joked.

Turner added that the board, which suffered a breach of election data by a foreign hacker last summer, is two years behind on paying as much as $9,000 for online antivirus protection and if it doesn’t catch up this fall, “we would have to unplug our agency from the internet.”

Um, if they can’t find a way to move around $9,000, then I don’t know what to tell them.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

9 Comments
  1. - Linus - Monday, May 29, 17 @ 10:46 am:

    “Um, if they can’t find a way to move around $9,000, then I don’t know what to tell them.”

    If anybody should understand, Charles Schultz should know that it’s
    PEANUTS!


  2. - Oswego Willy - Monday, May 29, 17 @ 10:54 am:

    So for the phony idea that $9,000 can’t be moved, Comptroller Mendoza needs to play Rauner’s IT vendors, “because… $9,000 ain’t peanuts”?

    It’s so disingenuous…

    Rauner needs his people paid?


  3. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, May 29, 17 @ 11:50 am:

    Hire AWillyWord Consulting for $10,000. We’ll find that nine for them in a jiffy.

    You mean to tell me CMS/DoIt doesn’t buy antivirus coverage for all the Gov’s agencies?


  4. - Rich Miller - Monday, May 29, 17 @ 11:57 am:

    ===all the Gov’s agencies? ===

    The board is independent.


  5. - Pelonski - Monday, May 29, 17 @ 1:09 pm:

    Most State agencies have been moving money around for the last couple of years to keep things going. As time passes, that gets harder and harder. That’s especially true when you have a relatively small budget to begin with.


  6. - anon - Monday, May 29, 17 @ 3:08 pm:

    The SBE is giving it’s employees at the top this much needed $$$$. The SBE should be consolidated into the SOS like the majority of Election Offices in other states. At least then there could be some oversight?


  7. - Ahem! - Monday, May 29, 17 @ 7:51 pm:

    Beg to differ…

    The Illinois State Board of Elections was created, in part, because the Secretary of State used to function as the chief state elections officer (much like the county clerks perform local election functions). Problem was Paul Powell, a Democratic officeholder with a shoe box collection, constantly showed favoritism to Democrats and did not conduct election duties in an impartial manner. As a consequence, the legislature largely stripped the SOS of election duties.


  8. - Rock on - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 8:20 am:

    We are going into the third summer of the SBE not being able to reimburse any of their personnel for travel. The first summer they carried it on their own credit cards. They stopped doing that last summer. The AVR bill will mean significant costs for SBE and SOS. They can’t maintain and update the current system!


  9. - titan - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 11:25 am:

    Rich - if there is no budget, there is no appropriated money to move around.

    Money being paid to staff is being done under court order, those funds can’t be reallocated to other things.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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