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MEDIA ADVISORY: Ranking Member to Host Illinois Listening Session on Election Registration Errors

SPRINGFIELD, IL – On Monday, February 24, 2020, at 9:00 a.m., Committee on House Administration’s top Republican and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Elections, U.S. Representative Rodney Davis (IL-13) will host a congressional listening session in Springfield, IL, to discuss the state’s recent election administrative errors with Automatic Voter Registration. 
 

What: Congressional Listening Session on Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) in Illinois

Who:  U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL-13), Ranking Member;
           State Rep. Tim Butler (IL-87th);
           State Rep. Avery Bourne (IL-95th);
           State Rep. Mike Murphy (IL-99th)
         
Witnesses:  Steve Sandvoss, Executive Director, IL State Board of Elections;
                     Kathy Michael, County Clerk, McLean County;
                     Michael Gianasi, County Clerk, Christian County;
                     Don Gray, County Clerk, Sangamon County;
                     Julie Pittman, Deputy County Clerk, Sangamon County;
                     Staff Representative for the IL Secretary of State

When: Monday, February 24, 2020
            9:00 a.m. (CST)

Where: Sangamon County Board Chambers
             220 S. Ninth Street, Room 201
             Springfield, IL 62701
 

Background:
Non-Citizen Registration/Voting:
A glitch in the Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) program in Illinois resulted in the registration of 574 individuals who identified themselves as “non-citizens.” 574 people who self-identified as noncitizens were erroneously forwarded to election officials to be registered to vote. Election officials confirmed 545 of them ultimately became registered. The Secretary of State’s Office is still determining how many of these registered “non-citizens” were the result of process errors. To date, 1 non-citizen has been discovered to have voted in the 2018 General Election.
 
Sixteen-year-olds Registrations:
4,700 16-year-olds were forwarded by the Secretary of State’s Office to the Illinois State Board of Elections for registration. This was a policy instituted by the Secretary of State and is unrelated to the software glitch for voters indicating they were non-citizens. In Illinois, if an individual will be 17-years-old by the next Primary Election and 18 by the next General Election, he or she is eligible to register to vote. ISBE rejected these 4,700 individuals and did not register them to vote. 
 
Formerly Incarcerated Cancelled Registrations:
The Illinois State Board of Elections on February 3, 2020, notified 59 state election authorities that 774 people who were formerly incarcerated in the Illinois Department of Corrections might be subject to erroneous cancellations due to a data error. Under Illinois law, you can’t vote while behind bars, but once you are released you may register. The issue stems from a data-matching error between the state’s election board and the Illinois Department of Corrections. Individuals were incorrectly categorized as currently incarcerated when they had completed their sentences and been discharged. The state’s election board notified local election authorities to reverse the registration cancellation, and it is up to local electoral boards to determine if any of the 774 people were removed from the voter rolls for other legitimate reasons, such as failing to report a change of address. The error was discovered after unrelated issues with the state’s AVR system were revealed.

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