Suffredin- Changing County Government  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
  Cook County Hospital fills more outpatient prescriptions every day than are filled at 26 Walgreen's drug store combined.
   
     
     
     



Voting-system maker blasted
County, city might withhold payments over count problems

Friday, March 24, 2006
Chicago Tribune

By John McCormick and David Kidwell, Tribune staff reporters. Tribune staff reporters Mickey Ciokajlo and Josh Noel contributed to this report


Published With ballot counting not expected to be done in Cook County until this weekend, election officials said Thursday they may withhold payments to Sequoia Voting Systems until the equipment manufacturer has fixed any problems.

Election officials have acknowledged a lack of training for election judges facing the daunting task of using a new and complex system in Tuesday's primary. But they increased their public criticism of Sequoia, saying it "did not perform adequately."

Scott Burnham, a spokesman for Cook County Clerk David Orr, said the county has paid California-based Sequoia about $7.8 million so far. "We will not make additional payments until we are satisfied with the system," he said.

"There will be contract ramifications from their performance," said Langdon Neal, chairman of the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners, noting that about $15 million of the city's portion of the Sequoia contract remains unpaid.As the counting continues, the lack of final totals has left several area communities uncertain about referendum outcomes for libraries and other projects. With 96 percent in, a tight race also remains for the Republican nomination in the 15th District for the Cook County Board between Carl Hansen and Timothy Schneider.

Chicago commissioners in June approved a contract worth about $28 million for a dual voting system that includes optical scanners for paper ballots and touch-screen voting machines. A few days earlier, Orr had recommended Sequoia for a county contract worth $23.8 million.

As the election board prepares for November's general election, when there will be a much heavier turnout, Neal said "immediate steps" are needed to resolve the problems, including the hiring of an independent expert to review Sequoia's software and hardware.

Neal said the board plans to appoint an election judge for each polling place who will receive added training and extra pay. He said a survey of election judges would also be done to solicit suggestions for fixes.

After seeing scanners jam on 21-inch ballots, Neal promised "extensive testing" before those machines are redeployed. He said efforts would be made to simplify the machine that is supposed to combine results from the two voting systems and transmit them downtown.

Neal, who called the last few days "extremely embarrassing," said the most severe problems were primarily limited to about 15 percent of precincts. He said at least some memory cards containing vote totals were defective or damaged, perhaps because they were inserted into a compiling machine while it was on, even though that is something Sequoia warned against doing. Paper trails are available for both voting systems, if the data storage devices are compromised.

"This is something we knew about, and elections departments have known about, all along," said Michelle Shafer, a Sequoia spokeswoman. "That is why in training we are so emphatic about turning the machines off before the cartridges are inserted."

Shafer said she had not heard about the possibility of payments being withheld because of the problems. "Right now, we are just working as closely with our clients as we can to close out this election," she said.

Those waiting for results say they are increasingly frustrated.

"I'm becoming more and more concerned about the integrity because no one can give me any answers," said Schneider, one of the County Board candidates still waiting for results in a close race.

Burnham said election officials are also frustrated with the delays, "but we can vouch for the integrity of the ballots."

A Tribune survey of other counties that use Sequoia showed Chicago and Cook County are on the low end when it comes to training times for poll workers. Training lasted three hours here. In Pinellas County, Fla., election judges get three to seven hours of training, while those in Carson City, Nev., get about six hours.



Recent Headlines

Beekeeping Behind Bars: Inmates Raise Bees at Cook County Jail
Friday, June 14, 2019
WTTW News

Bernie Judge, fiery Daily Law Bulletin editor, dies at 79
Friday, June 14, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Court rules county retirees entitled to health care no matter who last employer was
Thursday, June 13, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Prevent Illinois from being the next ground zero for measles
Thursday, June 13, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

At Cook County Jail, Inmates Relax Their Minds, Bodies With Yoga
Thursday, June 06, 2019
Prison Mindfulness Institute

Illinois Dept. of Revenue Releases Final 2018 Cook County Equalization Factor
Thursday, June 06, 2019
JD Supra

Skokie drops recent proposal to opt out of Cook County minimum wage ordinance
Wednesday, June 05, 2019
Chicago Tribune

JAMA examines rising drug costs • CVS' ambitious transformation • Cook County extends Medicaid contract
Wednesday, June 05, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

DCFS says nonprofit misused taxpayer dollars, demands repayment of $100K
Wednesday, June 05, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County judge, ripped for ‘insensitive’ racial comments, dumped from bench
Wednesday, June 05, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Offers Low Cost Rabies And Microchipping Clinic
Wednesday, June 05, 2019
Patch

Masturbating Cook County Jail inmates could cost taxpayers $2 million-plus in legal fees
Tuesday, June 04, 2019

New training and protocols needed at Cook County, task force says after sexual harassment scandal
Friday, May 31, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County assessor's tax reform bill skids in Springfield
Friday, May 31, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi's property tax reforms stall out in Springfield
Friday, May 31, 2019
Chicago Tribune

The North Shore Mosquito Abatement District has found the first mosquitoes to test positive for West Nile virus in the District this year.
Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County to Address Perinatal Health Disparities with $4.8M Grant
Friday, May 24, 2019
WTTW News

Audit Recommends Ways To Overhaul Cook County Property Tax System
Thursday, May 23, 2019
WBEZ News

Cock-a-doodle-deferred? After ‘urban farmers’ cry foul, county tables rooster ban
Thursday, May 23, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

From green screen computers to staff shortages, a new audit says Cook County's property tax system needs more resources
Thursday, May 23, 2019
Chicago Tribune

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP