Election Integrity and Transparency

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With the 2022 elections on the horizon, it’s important for voters to recognize and understand that unreliable and false information about the elections process is swirling online on websites and other sources purporting to be providing legitimate sources of information.

One of the most important steps a voter can take to protect themselves and their community from false news and information is to turn to trusted election sources such as the Cook County Clerk’s Office.

The Clerk’s Office goes to great lengths to protect the electoral process and to offer safe and accessible voting methods. Some of these measures include a voter registration process that ensures only those meeting state eligibility requirements can vote and tracks those who have cast a ballot; extensive cybersecurity protections; extended Early Voting; a secure Vote by Mail process; and secure ballot drop boxes at countywide polling locations.

The Clerk’s Office also offers expanded access to the ballot in 12 languages as well as voting for pre-trial detainees at Cook County Jail.

  

Election Integrity FAQs

Can I help the election process?

Yes! You can sign up to be an Election Judge and work to facilitate voting in suburban Cook County.

How can I observe the voting process?

You can become a credentialed Poll Watcher by working with a recognized candidate, political party, or organization.  All Poll Watchers must have a written Poll Watcher credential from that organization naming them as a poll watcher. 

What parts of the election process can I observe?

You can observe in-person voting, recounts, and certain equipment testing.

Does the Clerk’s Office do any kind of audit of the results?

Yes. The Clerk’s Office will hold a hand recount of 5% of the precincts to ensure the results match the equipment count. The precincts to be recounted are randomly selected by a state agency to guarantee impartiality.

How can I trust the computers to count my vote correctly?

If you use a touch screen, a paper ballot is printed and that paper ballot is what is counted by a separate piece of equipment. Completed paper ballots are kept in a locked secure area of the Clerk’s Elections Operation Center after Election Day.

Why do vote totals change after Election Day?

People who Vote by Mail have until Election Day to put their ballot in the mail and the Clerk’s Office has two weeks after Election Day to process those ballots. It is perfectly normal and legal for results to change during that window.

How do you ensure only those eligible to vote are casting ballots and how do you know I am me when I vote on Election Day?

The Clerk’s Office follows federal, state, and local laws to ensure that the voter database records are up to date and accurate, so every eligible voter is empowered to cast a ballot.

Illinois does require identification for voter registration, which is a security measure in and of itself. Registration ensures that only those meeting state eligibility requirements can vote, and the registration system keeps track of who has cast a ballot in any given election. The Clerk’s Office takes great care to keep voter registration data safe, and database traffic is closely monitored and protected.

When a voter goes to their precinct to cast their ballot on Election Day, the signature that they provided when they registered is verified, which ensures the voter’s identity.