Illinois Secretary of State Automatically Registers Non-Citizens To Vote

By Benjamin Cox on January 22, 2020 at 5:28am

County Clerks are experiencing some of the fallout from an error at the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office. In FOIA requested information by the Illinois Center Square, the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office notified the State Board of Elections that a keypad glitch in the non-Real ID license and identification card process allowed a number of non-citizens to have their information forwarded to election officials from July 2 to Dec. 13.

Over 500 non-U.S. Citizens from around the state were erroneously entered into the state’s election rolls by the non-Real I.D. Process for license renewals. Those over 500 citizens were issued voter registration cards under the automatic voter registration rules signed by former Governor Bruce Rauner in 2017. The Illinois State Board of Elections have identified where 18 of those 500 citizens voted in elections in various counties around the state. The errors represent less than one percent of the more than 740,000 new voters registered through Illinois DMV facilities since the automatic voter registration program began in July 2019. It’s just one of many issues that the Secretary of State’s office has faced with the new federally-compliant REAL ID requirement.

Morgan County Clerk Jill Waggener said yesterday that her office hasn’t been alerted to any issues locally. “Actually, I have not had any communications with the Illinois State Board of Elections. I heard about it on the news Tuesday morning. I believe once they look into it and complete an investigation, then all county clerks will be contacted on how to move forward.”

Non-U.S. Citizens who vote in elections face automatic deportation if they are caught. Secretary of State spokesman Dave Druker said the list did not include undocumented immigrants. The glitch affected Illinois residents who had green cards, but were not eligible to vote. State Senator Andy Manar chided the Secretary of State for its faulty process and has called for a Senate committee meeting to get answers on what caused the glitch. Governor J.B. Pritzker and Senate Republicans have all called on a thorough investigation to fix the issue immediately. Mark Maxwell of WCIA said during his own investigation that he identified 16 people who had voted, most of them in Central Illinois. It is unclear if one of the voters voted in the highly contested Macon County Sheriff’s race which was decided by 1 vote last year.