Election Security FAQs

Debra D. Ming-Mendoza Clerk's Office

Election Security

The vote is a foundational institution of our democracy, and the Madison County Clerk’s Office places paramount importance on protecting it. As the election authority for Madison County, nothing is as important as ensuring that voters have faith and confidence in the security of our elections, knowing that their votes are accurately counted and the integrity of the process will be ceaselessly defended and protected.  

The growing threat of cybercrime is on the minds of many people. Recently, there have been many questions about the security of the voter data under the care of election authorities. At the Madison County Clerk’s office, we are committed to cybersecurity, as well as the physical security, of the data in our care.

Our electronic voting equipment consists of the M100 and DS200 (Optical Scan) tabulators.  These machines are never connected to the Internet. The machines are tested before and after each election to ensure they are functioning correctly. The electronic voting equipment and memory are kept in secure locations when not being used for an election.

During an election, we employ numbered security seals on the machines to prevent tampering.  The memory used with the machines only stores election information. No voter information is on the memory. When the election ends, County Clerk personnel operates the equipment that tallies the results which is also never connected to the Internet.  We are the only people who handle the data from the memory. Additionally, our Voter Registration System and Election Night Software Reporting vendors regularly undergo various cyber reviews, assessments and scans to ensure the systems are safe from vulnerabilities and unknown actors.

The County Clerk’s office and the Madison County IT department are working together along with State and Federal entities, such as the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Illinois Statewide Terrorism & Intelligence Center to maintain the integrity of elections and voter information. We have designated a competent staff members to oversee our cybersecurity. Through continuing education about cybersecurity, we are striving to make certain future elections and voter data remain safe.

Click here to download Voter's Pamphlet on Election Security (PDF)

Election Security FAQs

Here are answers to frequently asked questions. 

Will there be an offline daily backup of votes as they come in?

Will there be an election audit to ensure accuracy?

How will polling places check voters in if their internet goes down?  Are there hard copies of the pollbooks at all polling places?

What's the plan if a machine breaks, especially during peak times?

Does our district use electronic voting or paper ballots? Will each polling center have pre-printed signage that instructs voters on alternative options? What plans are there to accommodate voters with disabilities in this case?

At polling places that use paper ballots, are there enough copies for 100% of registered voters? What about adequate numbers of provisional ballots?