EDWARDSVILLE - With the November 8 General Election approaching and early voting just a month away, Madison County Clerk’s Office says it has been inundated with FOIA requests for voting records. Madison County Clerk, Debbie Ming-Mendoza, is issuing this statement to the public with information regarding access to voting records.
Mendoza stated: “It is my utmost responsibility as the Chief Election Officer of Madison County to maintain the highest integrity of voting records. All election results are available to the general public on the County Clerk’s website following the canvass of the ballots cast. Results from primary elections do show how primary voters tend to vote by party identification.”
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The voting system Madison County uses is an optical scan system. It has proven to be very accurate in counting the proper number of votes for individual candidates, as well as, referendum ballot questions. The system does not track who votes for who or what issue. The signed voter register verifies who did vote in each election. All votes cast by mail, early voting, and election day ballots are scanned by the optical system. Mendoza consulted with the Illinois State Board of Elections regarding the FOIA requests she has received. ISBE has indicated that if your voting system does not collect the information, you are not responsible for it.
“To track who votes for who or what and provide that information to another party is a real invasion of a person’s privacy,” said Mendoza. “I believe residents want their vote to be confidential and not reviewed,” she continued. ES&S, the vendor which provides technical voting support to the Madison County Clerk’s office, contacted Mendoza and confirmed that the voting machines used in Madison County do not provide the type of records the recent FOIA requests have demanded.
Similar FOIA requests have been filed all over the state of Illinois. Mendoza cited that the cyber security exemptions provision applies to the FOIA law to protect the voting process from individuals attempting to access confidential voting information. Mendoza has complied with all state Freedom of Information (FOIA) policies as Madison County Clerk and will continue to provide information for rationale FOIA requests to the public.
Mendoza assures the public that when they cast their ballot this fall it will be secure and accurately counted.
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