Voter security: Public confidence in Heartland’s elections

Is your vote safe? Voter security top of mind across the country and here in the Heartland

Ill. Election security

JACKSON COUNTY, Ill. (KFVS) - Election security is top of mind, across the country and here in Illinois.

One Carbondale resident, Barbara McKasson, shared a concern that seems to be growing as we head into the 2020 election season.

“I don’t feel real confident," Mckasson said. “Well, I trust our county clerk, to really try and do the best, but I really don’t trust all the technology.”

Frank Byrd is Jackson County’s newly elected Clerk and Recorder. He said his office is prepared and ready.

“I want the voter to know that they don’t have to worry about anything as far as Jackson County,” he said.

His confidence not only stems from what he called the reputation of the office, but also in the upgraded systems designed to keep your vote secure.

“We work with the State Board of Elections and their Cybersecurity Navigators, and they show us and educate on what things to look for, what things to red flag, and that’s what’s happening in our count,” Byrd said.

On the state level, election officials already ran into a voter registration error. A data matching “error” canceled the registrations of more than 700 former inmates. Despite that glitch, one political expert John Jackson, said he’s confident the state primary in march will run smoothly.

“Illinois...Some people would be surprised to hear this contrary to some reputation, has really efficient and really clean reputation. Those county clerks do a super job on this,” Jackson said.

Joyce Killian, of Carbondale, feels the county is in “pretty good shape," she said. “When I go here to vote locally, I feel that the process is professional and people are doing their job. But with what went on today in Iowa, you really have to give pause to think.”

On Tuesday, Iowa Democratic Party said their caucus experienced delays due to a “coding issue” that has been fixed.

“We want to make sure that people have accessibility to vote and we want to make sure that they know that their information is secure,” Byrd said.

The Board of Elections in Jackson County plans to test all of its systems with the printed ballot soon.

The 2020 Illinois primary will take place on Tuesday, March 17, 2020.

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