S.O.S. Settles On Voter Registration Lawsuit

By Benjamin Cox on July 1, 2021 at 10:29am

Illinois voting rights groups have reached a settlement agreement with Secretary of State Jesse White over alleged violations of the federal Voting Rights Act and Illinois’ recently passed automatic voter registration law.

Capitol News Illinois reports that the settlement was reached in federal court on Tuesday. The lawsuit argued that the secretary of state’s office, which offers voter registration services, violates state and federal law when it came to voter registration.

Illinois’ automatic voter registration law was passed in 2017, and it requires that the secretary of state’s office automatically register eligible voters who are applying for, renewing, or updating a REAL ID driver’s license, unless they opt-out.

The secretary of state’s office allegedly failed to provide applicants with required information about voter eligibility, ask applicants about their voter registrations status, and offer information in other languages, as required by state and federal law.

The agreement requires the secretary of state to provide language assistance. It also requires the secretary of state’s office to inform individuals of their registration status at the start of certain transactions and to provide individuals with federally mandated disclosures, which include information about voter eligibility requirements. The settlement agreement also requires the secretary of state’s office to screen out any individuals who are non-citizens or under age 18 before their information is sent to the Illinois State Board of Elections, among other provisions of the settlement.