"With Verizon’s solution, we are not touching the Internet at all, so a lot of those boundaries that we had to historically protect are completely eliminated now."
— Rahul Patel, Elections Information Security Officer, Chicago Board of Election Commissioners
The Board of Election Commissioners for the City of Chicago ("Board") planned to debut a brand new voting system at over 2,000 precincts across 230 miles for their upcoming presidential primary election, scheduled for March 17, 2020. Providing secure electronic elections demanded that the Board:
- Protect the integrity of voter choices on a digital ballot
- Guard against hacks and cyberattacks when those choices were electronically transmitted across the network
- Ensure that every vote was accurately counted and accounted for
Then, six days before the election, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. Suddenly, the bar for achieving secure electronic elections across multiple voting sites became that much higher.
The Board migrated to an all-Verizon redundant circuit model designed to segment traffic into three distinct data groups: touchscreens and scanners, electronic poll books, and employee communication. Verizon’s end-to-end private network solution included:
- 2,200 activations of 4G LTE modems
- 1 private wireless gateway
- 2 geo-diverse 1-Gig burstable IP circuits
- 1 dedicated VPN circuit
- Partner-based secured routers & firewalls
- Professional and Managed Network Services
With a private and robust election network infrastructure and personnel support, the Board was able to quickly, efficiently, and securely complete their elections according to plan.
- Scanned ballots and results took only 5-10 minutes to transmit after polls closed.
- By 11:00 pm on election night, already 90% of polling places had reported results.
- Voter turnout in Chicago was 9 percentage points above the state average.*
How We Built This Solution