Fair and free elections are fundamental to our democracy. The gold standard for election security is hand-marked paper ballots with robust audits. Experts tell us that one of Illinois’s weakest links is inadequate audit processes. They recommend Risk-Limiting Audits (RLAs) for Illinois and all states especially the swing states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Recently, Dr. Philip Stark, the creator of risk-limiting audits – a secure, transparent and reliable method to audit our votes – drummed up some controversy.

Dr. Stark had been a board member of Verified Voting, but recently stepped down due to Verified Voting’s support of RLA testing on Ballot Marking Devices (BMDs). BMDs are touch screen voting systems often with barcodes that provide a print-out of a voter’s selections in some versions. Suburban Cook County and Chicago will be implementing such BMDs for upcoming elections. Risk-limiting audits are designed to be conducted on hand-marked paper ballots to ensure a voter’s intent is secure.

We recommend, when possible, that voters vote on hand-marked paper ballots with assistive devices available for people with disabilities. Risk-limiting audits are the best way to audit the vote. Sidebar action step:  Voters must demand RLA legislation from their State Reps and State Senators to have an impact on upcoming elections.

Provided is Dr. Stark’s letter of resignation from the Verified Voting Board. I support Dr. Stark and his decision to stand by his convictions.

Read on for Dr. Stark’s letter:

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