Four laptop computers belonging to the Cook County Clerk’s Office that were used in Wilmette’s early voting process were reported stolen after the machines went missing from a village building last month, police say.
The stolen computers stored no voter information, but the incident was the first time Cook County voting equipment has been stolen since at least 2008 and perhaps earlier, said Cook County Clerk’s Office spokeswoman Courtney Greve.
Wilmette’s early voting lasted from Oct. 22 to Nov. 3, was open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and took place at the Wilmette Recreation Center, 3000 Glenview Rd.
The computers were used to assist in voter check in.
“The way that they check in the voters is using a secure website where our trained election workers have to use a username and password to login,” Greve said. “Nothing is stored or saved on the actual laptop.”
After early voting concluded on Nov. 3, a Wilmette Park District employee placed the laptop computers and related equipment in a locked room at the recreation center, according to the police report.
The computers were first noticed missing when a delivery company came to the recreation center to pick up the equipment on Nov. 7 and were told the computers had already been collected.
Clerk’s office employees returned on Nov. 13 to search for the gear but could not find it, and the office filed a police report on Nov. 21.
A review of the recreation center’s security camera footage produced no suspects or useful information, police said.
The stolen equipment was valued at approximately $3,000 and included four Dell Vostro 1440 laptops, four laptop bags, power strips, four mice and network cables.
Wilmette police spokesperson Cmdr. Patrick Collins said the police investigation was ongoing.