CHICAGO — For the first time ever when the polls closed on election night, Cook County, Illinois had election returns delivered wirelessly, and in record breaking time, from more than 5,000 City and County precincts. The results were transmitted instantly to The Boards of Election headquarters using Verizon Wireless' CDPD (Cellular Digital Packet Data) network. Within two hours of the polls closing, 86% of precinct results were in, compared to 10% received in past years. By 9:45 p.m., results were at 95%. In contrast, Dupage County and Lake County, using traditional methods, were at 50% and 20%, respectively election night.
In the past, election judges in each polling place would drive the results to 12 receiving stations throughout the city and the county. These numbers were then put into a computer and transmitted via telephone lines to the central office. These two steps have been eliminated by the use of Verizon Wireless' network. Although the new system still uses punch cards, results from individual precincts are sent directly to the elections offices over the Verizon Wireless data network.
"Cook County and the City of Chicago Board of Elections officials were extremely pleased with the speed, security, and accuracy of the new wireless system used," says Bob Merna, Director, Wireless Data, Verizon Wireless "Setting up this system for Cook County was a joint effort between Elections Systems Software and Verizon Wireless. Our CDPD network was chosen for this critical task because of its speed and ability to transmit information in a secured environment."
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with 26.3 million wireless voice and data customers and 3.5 million paging customers. The new coast-to-coast wireless provider was formed by the combination of the U.S. wireless businesses of Bell Atlantic Corp. and GTE Corp - now Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) -- and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). The new company includes the assets of Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, GTE Wireless, PrimeCo Personal Communications and AirTouch Paging. The company has a footprint covering nearly 90 percent of the U.S. population, 49 of the top 50 and 96 of the top 100 U.S. markets. Verizon Wireless, headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, is 32,000 employees strong. Reporters and editors can find more information about the company in its Media Center on the Web at: http://www.verizonwireless.com/mediacenter/index.shtml