Illinois House Republicans held a joint press conference in Springfield yesterday asking for suspension of Automatic Voter Registration in the wake of non-U.S. Citizens being granted voting cards in the state due to a glitch at the Secretary of State’s office. The issue also drew the attention of 13th District Congressman Rodney Davis who also attended and spoke at the press conference at the capitol building.
Local representative CD Davidsmeyer called on the Inspector General to get involved in investigating the software issue that allowed for the non-citizens to enter the voter rolls. “It’s definitely a concern when a program can do this. Automatic Voter Registration was a bill passed by both Democrats and Republicans. Nobody wants to hold people out from their right to vote. Everyone that can vote, should vote. We want to make sure that people who are registered to vote are legal citizens. We want to make sure that people actually have that right to vote.”
Davidsmeyer joined his Republican colleagues in calling for the asylum of the rule so that people can get to the root of the problem heading into the March primary elections. State Senator Steve McClure said in the press conference that he wants measures in place moving forward. “We have asked what DMV locations registered these individuals and who was responsible. We need to know what actions are going to be taken to rectify this situation and we also asked for assurances that this isn’t going to happen again.”
McClure called for more transparency and accountability: “This problem is very disturbing, because once you cast that ballot. That’s it. We can’t do anything about it after the fact. There has to be more accountability here and there has to be more actions taken to make sure our elections are legitimate.”
Over 500 non-citizens were allegedly signed up by the glitch, with approximately 18 of those actually casting votes in elections. Illinois House Executive Committee Chair Representative Chris Welch has called on representatives of the Secretary of State’s office to testify in front of the committee next week in order to provide legislators with answers on how the glitch occurred and clarify what steps are being taken to ensure it will never happen again. The Secretary’s office has pledged full and transparent cooperation with lawmakers on the issue. Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker and newly-elected Illinois Senate President Don Harmon added their voices Wednesday to a growing chorus of state officials calling for legislative hearings to determine how the problem and the path forward to fix the problem. The non-citizen registrations represent less than 1% of automatic voter registrations that have occurred in the state since its implementation this past July.