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Trust and ethics are indivisible
Letter to the Editor
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Published: 9/5/2009 11:06 PM

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The DuPage County Election Commission is amending its ethics ordinance. We hope that the commission complies with our request to make this process more transparent and accessible by holding an evening public meeting to answer questions and address concerns.

We also call for a truly independent ethics commission, not paid by the election commission; protections for complainants; no time limit for reporting egregious ethical violations; and strict prohibitions of business ties with vendors and reimbursement of travel expenses for personal financial gain.

We are not alone. Our views are shared by other organizations and citizens. The Diebold/Premier secret voting tabulation software used in this county, Illinois and roughly 30 other states for years has had a serious security weakness, according to a recent federal lab report, causing auditing logs to: fail to record the act of someone deleting votes during or after an election, fail to record who performed the action on the system and fail to list correct dates and time stamps.

Citizens of DuPage County have been voting on this flawed software since 2002. During this time we were told by our election officials to trust election results while they placed their "trust" in Diebold/Premier.

This is why ties with vendors matter. We are entitled to trust verifiable results, not people. Because so little of our electoral process is transparent, we are forced in a position to trust our election officials. A formidable ethics ordinance is absolutely necessary. Our election commission, above all government entities within DuPage County, must be held to the highest ethical standards. Trust and ethics are indivisible.

Jean Kaczmarek

Melisa Urda

co-chairwomen, Illinois Ballot Integrity Project/DuPage Chapter