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Peoria County has processes and procedures in place to ensure the transfer of voting equipment and voted ballots on Election Day is logged through every step of the process.
Peoria County has processes and procedures in place to ensure the transfer of voting equipment and voted ballots during the Early Voting timeframe is logged through every step of the process.
To receive a vote by mail ballot, the voter must complete an application. No voter will receive a ballot through the mail without first completing an application. Voters can complete an election specific application, meaning a ballot will be issued for the current election only, or voters can complete a permanent application, meaning a vote by mail ballot will be mailed for all elections going forward. Once an application has been received and the voter has been verified by the Election Commission, a vote by mail packet is assembled. This packet includes the ballot, specific to the voter, a secrecy envelope, a purple return envelope (specific to the voter and the election) and a white outer envelope. Printed on the purple return envelope is the voter’s name, mailing address, and a unique identifier. This unique identifier is linked to the voter and the ballot packet and is used upon return for validation.
The validation process is completed by a bi-partisan team of trained poll workers. This team of poll workers completes the signature verification process by comparing the signature on file with the signature captured on the purple return envelope. The signature on file was captured at the time of registration. If both judges agree the signatures match, the secrecy envelope containing the ballot will be removed and staged for tabulation. If the judges do not agree the signatures match or if the return envelope is unsigned, the voter is notified of the challenge and given the opportunity to overturn the challenge by providing identification for verification.
In accordance with 10 ILCS 5/24A-9, prior to each election, a Public Test must be conducted to ensure that the voting equipment and automatic tabulating apparatus used in the county will accurately count the votes cast for all offices and referendums.
A test deck is generated by the Peoria County Election Commission that ensures every candidate and referendum option on the ballot receives two votes. One vote for each candidate/referendum option is processed via election day procedures and the other vote is processed via vote by mail procedures. Testing both procedures verifies that all equipment is working accurately and allows for greater transparency with the different voting processes. The election staff will invite any individuals who attend the Public Test to mark test ballots. A portion of test ballots will also be marked on the ADA compliant voting machine (i.e., Verity Touchwriter) to illustrate how voting on this device works.
After the test ballots are marked, test ballots for election day processes are run through the scanner (i.e., Verity Scan). Verity Scan can be used with hand-marked ballots or ballots marked and printed on the Verity Touchwriter. The test ballots designated for vote by mail processes will be scanned using the Verity Central Workstation. Inserting predefined test ballots into the scanner ensures:
All results are then tabulated in the Verity Count Workstation. The results are then compared to the expected results from the test deck. Any discrepancies from the expected results will be identified and resolved.
The Peoria County Election Commission offers three convenient Ballot Drop Box locations.
These three Ballot Drop Box locations are camera monitored. The Drop Boxes are accessible 24 hours per day for Peoria County residents only. Drop Boxes provide voters with a safe and secure alternative to sending completed Vote by Mail ballots through the mail.
Ballot Drop Boxes are collected daily by a bi-partisan team of poll workers and returned to the Peoria County Election Commission. Keyed locks are used to prevent unauthorized access to Ballot Drop Boxes. Tamper-evident seals are also fastened over Drop Box collection doors as an added security measure. Logs are kept for each Drop Box location notating time of collection, seal numbers, and number of ballots collected.
Security Features in Hart Intercivic’s Verity Voting System (Voting Equipment)
Non-standard physical connections are used for external ports on Verity devices. The use of non-standard port connections prevents unauthorized users from inserting any standard or commercial off-the-shelf cables or devices. In addition, the physical ports use non-standard wiring, which prevents any non-Verity device from being recognized.
In addition, keyed locks are used to prevent unauthorized access to the vDrive compartment, ballot box and device cases. As an added security measure, tamper-evident seals are also fastened on locations that store ballots and vote data.
Security Features in Verity Workstations (i.e., Verity Build, Verity Central, Verity Count)
Verity workstations are designed differently from regular computer workstations. The only features and functions available to the user are certified Verity software applications – and nothing else. So, it’s like an airport “kiosk,” and like voting devices themselves—when you power the computer on, it automatically boots into its own secure environment, and there is nowhere else to navigate to. Under normal operation, import and export of data from the Verity workstation is accomplished using removable USB media (i.e., a vDrive).
Verity workstations were designed this way to prioritize security. Multiple security mechanisms prevent the modification of software or internal configurations, thus maintaining the integrity and purity of the certified installed software. All Verity Voting software applications are installed in a secure “kiosk” mode that disallows user access to the operating system of the workstation on which the application is installed.
The Verity system uses a “trust list” to block all unauthorized applications from running on the system. Use of a trust list limits the applications that are permitted to run on a system. If a particular application attempts to execute on a system that uses a trust list, the system checks the application against a list of permitted applications (the ‘trust list’). Verity is also configured to hash check all executables, without exception, against that list. Anything that fails validation is prevented from running. In short, if the application is not on the list, Verity won’t allow it to run. This method allows the Verity system to protect itself both against the threats that exist today, as well as those that may exist in the future, without the need for the computer to be updated via the Internet or any other means.
Security Features in vDrives
vDrives are used to securely transfer exported election definitions to Verity devices, and ballots – as Cast Vote Records (CVRs) – between Verity Voting components. vDrives are created in Verity Build and can only be used in the specific election for which they were created. CVRs are written to vDrives from Verity Scan devices and the Verity Central Workstation. These vDrives are used for final tabulation in the Verity Count Workstation. In addition to recording CVRs, vDrives also securely store the required information and logs to allow for successful auditing of the election either directly or through the data transferred to Verity Count tabulation software and available in Verity Count reports.
vDrives utilize digital signature files to provide a clear chain of custody and ensure data integrity. The digital signatures on each vDrive provide confirmation that the contents are provably unaltered, as well as confirmation that the contents come from a verifiable, trusted source (the certified voting system). If a vDrive’s contents were changed outside of the Verity system, then the vDrive would be recognized as invalid if attempting to read it into any Verity device or software, and the vDrive would be rejected.
Your eligibility to vote has been questioned on during Early Voting or on Election Day. You will be voting a Provisional Ballot. Your ballot will be processed and counted if you are found eligible to vote.
Call us at 309 324-2300, or visit the Illinois State Board of Elections website to check if your vote counted. You will need the carbon receipt from the polling place to retrieve this information.
Yes. Plain language, step-by-step instructions on the scanning machine and the ballot marking device touchscreens walk you through the entire voting process. The accessible ballot marking device includes ADA-compliant accessibility features such as tactile buttons, audio ballots, and compatibility with common adaptive devices. The scanning machine provides on-screen instructions and controls for voters whose hand-marked ballots contain errors.
There is no way for the system to connect your vote to you. The process of voting is completely removed from the process of checking in and being qualified to vote. When you vote, no personal identifying information is connected with your ballot.
Extensive testing is performed before each election to verify the integrity of installed software and to ensure that the system is recording votes correctly. Additionally, the system uses paper ballots. Every voter uses the scanning machine to cast a paper ballot, regardless of whether the voter hand-marks the ballot or prints it from the ballot marking device. That original paper ballot is retained throughout the process and remains the official record of the vote.
Your vote is not officially cast until after you select the Cast ballot button and the machine displays the “Your vote has been recorded” screen. At that point, it is no longer possible for you to make any changes. However, if you change your mind before you cast your ballot, you can change your selections. When using the ballot marking device, a ballot review screen appears before you print your ballot. This screen lists all the choices you have made and lets you know if you missed voting in any race. From this screen, you can return to any contest on the ballot and change your selections, if you wish. If you want to change your ballot selections after you have hand-marked or printed your ballot, you can ask a poll worker to “spoil” the ballot and issue you a new ballot.
It is your decision and right to choose not to vote in any race. If you are hand-marking the ballot, simply skip the race(s) you do not wish to vote in. If you are using the ballot marking device, just select the Next button to move forward past any race you want to skip.
If you are hand-marking your ballot and mark more than the permitted number of votes in a race, the scanning machine will return your ballot, and the touchscreen will display a message indicating any races that have too many choices marked. You may request a new ballot to mark, or touch “Cast the ballot as is.” If you choose “Cast the ballot as is,” your vote will not count in that race. If you are using the ballot marking device, the system does not allow you to select more than the permitted number of votes in a race.
After you insert the ballot into the scanning machine and the ballot is scanned, the screen will display the American flag and the message “Your vote has been recorded”, and an audible chime sounds. This lets you know your vote has been cast and counted.
No, your vote cannot be lost once you have scanned the ballot with the scanning machine and the machine displays the “Your vote has been recorded” screen. Your vote is stored in three separate places, and all data is protected and cannot be lost in the unlikely event that the system fails. In addition, the voting machine has a built-in battery back-up power, so it will continue to function even if the main power supply fails.
Yes. Every voter uses the scanning machine to cast a paper ballot, regardless of whether the voter hand-marks the ballot or prints it from the ballot marking device. That original paper ballot is retained throughout the process and remains the official record of the vote.
The system provides election officials with images of every vote that was cast on each voting device. Election officials can use these cast vote record images to electronically recount votes and ensure that results are accurate. Officials can also conduct a manual recount of paper ballots.
Find out if you're registered to vote in the State of Illinois with the Illinois State Board of Elections registration lookup tool.
To be eligible to register to vote, a person must:
In addition to the Board of Election Commissioners Office, registrations are taken at the Peoria County Courthouse, City Hall-City Clerk's Office, the Driver's License Facility (only if you have business there), and any Peoria Public Library. You may also register by mail or online.
If you move, you must file a written change of address with the Election Authority. The back of your Voter Registration Card contains a Change of Address Form. If you don't have your card, a handwritten note with your signature is sufficient. If you change your name, you must complete a new voter registration form. Find more information on the Registration Information page.
College students have two options with respect to registration and voting.
A person who is 17 years old on the date of the primary and will turn 18 by the date of the following general election may register and vote in the primary election. (10 ILCS 5/3-6)
Since most election law is decided at the state level, many laws are different from state to state. The right to vote during and/or after confinement is an example of this. Illinois Election Code states that no person shall be permitted to vote if he or she has been legally convicted, in this state or another state or in any federal court, of any crime, and is serving a sentence of confinement. Confinement is defined as any person convicted and imprisoned, including those granted a furlough or admitted to a work release program. Confinement does not include any person convicted and imprisoned but released on parole. Confinement or detention in a jail pending acquittal or conviction of a crime is not a disqualification from voting. (10 ILCS 5/3-5) In summation, if you are in jail awaiting trial, you can still vote. If you have been convicted but have finished serving your time, you may vote.
Peoria County Election Commission staff work daily to ensure our voter rolls are accurate and up to date. Notifications of potential transfers are received from the United States Postal Service, other election jurisdictions throughout the state of Illinois, and even from election jurisdictions from around the country. If information is received from one of these entities, the associated registration is made inactive. If a registration remains inactive for two federal general elections with no changes or attempts to vote, then that registration is cancelled. This process is required per the National Voter Registration Act, a Federal Law.
However, you, as the voter can be proactive in this process and help us speed it up. To remove (i.e., cancel) a voter from our voter registration records (and forego the inactivation timeline), we must have a signed statement from the voter asking for the cancellation. Please include full name, date of birth, Peoria County address, signature, and reason for cancellation request. I know it may seem easier to call the office to inform us that you have moved but to ensure no malicious activity, we must have the request in writing from the voter.
If a relative has passed away, a copy of the obituary or a copy of the death certificate is required to cancel that voter.
Illinois is often touted as a “No ID state.” While IDs are not required at the time of voting (unless you are registering at that time), IDs are verified during the registration process.
When an individual registers to vote, two forms of identification must be presented, one of which showing the current residential address. The applicant must also provide either the last four digits of their social security number or their Illinois Driver’s License/State ID number. The Election Commission verifies through either the Social Security Administration or the Illinois Secretary of State’s office if the number provided is correct.
No matter how you cast your ballot, by mail, early voting, or on election day, the same process is used to verify the voter. This process is completed through signature verification. This is Illinois state law. Two election judges, one from each political party, compare the signature on file with the signature captured at the time of voting. The signature on file was captured at the time of registration. If both judges agree the signatures match, you move forward in the voting process. If the judges do not agree the signatures match, you will be asked to present identification for verification. Only one judge must disagree for a signature challenge to occur.
You can find your polling place online but you can vote at any of our 55 Polling Places on Election Day.
Illinois Election Code allows any voter to apply to receive a ballot by mail – no excuse is needed to do so. Illinois also allows voters to apply to receive a ballot every election through its Permanent Vote by Mail Program (10 ILCS 5/19-2). No voter will receive a ballot through the mail without first completing an application. Voters can complete an election specific application, meaning a ballot will be issued for the current election only, or voters can complete a permanent application, meaning a vote by mail ballot will be mailed for all elections going forward. Once an application has been received and the voter has been verified by the Election Commission, a vote by mail packet is assembled. This packet includes the ballot, specific to the voter, a secrecy envelope, a purple return envelope (specific to the voter and the election) and a white outer envelope. Printed on the purple return envelope is the voter’s name, mailing address, and a unique identifier. This unique identifier is linked to the voter and the ballot packet and is used upon return for validation.
Illinois Election Code allows vote by mail ballots to be returned through the mail or via a Drop Box (10 ILCS 5/19-6; 5/19-8). Ballots received in the mail must be postmarked by election day and can be accepted up to 14 days after the election if postmarked by election day (10 ILCS 5/19-8).
Ballots received in the mail without a postmark after election day, but prior to the 14 days after an election, will be counted if the signature certification date on the envelope falls on or before election day. If the voter failed to add a date on the signature certification and the ballot is received in the mail after election day without a postmark, then the ballot will not be counted (10 ILCS 5/19-8).
Ballots returned via a Drop Box must be inserted into a drop box prior to the closing of polls at 7 pm on Election Day. Peoria County has three convenient drop box locations (located at the Peoria County Election Commission Office, North Branch Library, and the Peoria Civic Center). These three Ballot Drop Box locations are camera monitored. The Drop Boxes are accessible 24 hours per day for Peoria County residents only. Drop Boxes provide voters with a safe and secure alternative to sending completed Vote by Mail ballots through the mail. Keep in mind that a voter can authorize another individual to drop off their ballot through completing the authorized delivery agent affidavit on the purple return envelope (10 ILCS 5/19-6).
Note that Ballot Drop Boxes are collected daily by a bi-partisan team of poll workers and returned to the Peoria County Election Commission. Keyed locks are used to prevent unauthorized access to Ballot Drop Boxes. Tamper-evident seals are also fastened over Drop Box collection doors as an added security measure. Logs are kept for each Drop Box location notating time of collection, seal numbers, and number of ballots collected.
Once a vote by mail ballot is returned, the validation process is completed by a bi-partisan team of trained poll workers. This team of poll workers completes the signature verification process by comparing the signature on file with the signature captured on the purple return envelope. The signature on file was captured at the time of registration. If both judges agree the signatures match, the secrecy envelope containing the ballot will be removed and staged for tabulation. If the judges do not agree the signatures match or if the return envelope is unsigned, the voter is notified of the challenge and given the opportunity to overturn the challenge by providing identification for verification.
If a voter receives a vote by mail ballot but would rather vote in-person for whatever reason, then the voter must surrender the vote by mail ballot to the election judges at the polling place. If they do not have the ballot to surrender, then they must vote provisionally. This provisional vote allows the Election Commission to ensure that no vote by mail ballot is received by this voter.
Any qualified voter who has been admitted to a hospital, nursing home, or rehabilitation center due to an illness or physical injury not more than 14 days before an election shall be entitled to personal delivery of a vote by mail ballot in the hospital, nursing home, or rehabilitation center subject to the following conditions:
(1) The voter completes the Application for Physically Incapacitated Elector
(2) The voter's physician, advanced practice registered nurse, or physician assistant completes a Certificate of Attending Health Care Professional
(3) Any person who is registered to vote in the same precinct as the admitted voter or any legal relative of the admitted voter may present such voter's vote by mail ballot application, completed as prescribed in paragraph 1, accompanied by the physician's, advanced practice registered nurse's, or a physician assistant's certificate, completed as prescribed in paragraph 2, to the election authority. Such precinct voter or relative shall execute and sign an affidavit furnished by the election authority attesting that he is a registered voter in the same precinct as the admitted voter or that he is a legal relative of the admitted voter and stating the nature of the relationship. Such precinct voter or relative shall further attest that he has been authorized by the admitted voter to obtain his or her vote by mail ballot from the election authority and deliver such ballot to him in the hospital, home, or center. (10 ILCS 5/19-13)
Any voter who is a resident of a nursing home or facility licensed under the Nursing Home Care Act, the Specialized Mental Health Rehabilitation Act of 2013, the ID/DD Community Care Act, or the MC/DD Act may fill out an application to receive a vote by mail ballot to be voted in-person at the facility. This application is titled “APPLICATION FOR VOTE BY MAIL BALLOT BY ELECTOR WHO IS A RESIDENT OF A NURSING HOME OR CARE FACILITY, OR FEDERALLY OPERATED VETERANS’ HOME OR HOSPITAL.’
This in-person voting at the facility is supervised by two election judges. This supervised in-person voting occurs on the Friday, Saturday, Sunday, or Monday immediately preceding the election. If no residents at the facility fill out this application, then no supervised in-person voting occurs at the facility.
Voters at these facilities can alternatively elect to forego the supervised in-person vote by mail voting and choose to cast their ballot through the regular vote by mail process in which a ballot is mailed to the voter, completed by the voter, then mailed back (or dropped in a drop box).