See the recent letter to the editor by LWVCC President Trisha Crowley in the News Gazette on the security of voting by mail.
In response to an April Letter to the Editor, the League of Women Voters of Champaign County reached out to the county clerk’s office to learn more about measures that ensure the reliability of voting by mail.
The county installed and used ballot drop boxes for the first time last year. According to the clerk’s office, drop-box design ensures optimum security. All permanent drop boxes in Champaign County are anchored in concrete, reinforced with quarter-inch steel and weigh between 250 and 500 pounds.
A narrow slot allows for the insertion of ballots but nothing larger. The box is sealed to prevent the insertion of ballots outside of voting hours. All permanent drop boxes are monitored by security cameras and are in highly visible locations.
Ballot transfer is closely guarded. Two trained election judges — one Republican, one Democrat — retrieve the ballots and must follow predetermined routes. For transport, ballots are weighed, secured and sealed in tamper-proof bags. Upon arrival at the clerk’s office, the ballots are again weighed and seal numbers are verified.
Ballots mailed through the postal service are subjected to equally meticulous security. The chain of custody is dictated by state statute and done in the presence of both Republican and Democratic judges. Security cameras monitor every step.
The clerk’s office reports no security or tampering issues during either the November 2020 or April 2021 elections. No legal challenges regarding mail ballots were filed for either.
TRISHA A. CROWLEY
President, League of Women Voters of Champaign County