SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — There was more fallout in Springfield Wednesday after the Illinois Secretary of State revealed hundreds of non-U.S. citizens were erroneously registered to vote in Illinois.
"What we’re seeing in states like Illinois that have gone through [the Motor Voter Act] decades ago that there’s still problems when it comes to implementation that need to be corrected," said U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL).
It's believed 574 people indicated they were not U.S. citizens while undergoing the automatic voter registration process at driver's license facilities, but the Secretary of State’s Office still transferred their data to the Illinois State Board of Elections, registering 545 of them. Of that group, 16 people cast 19 ballots since November 2018.
"Until we know this is being implemented correctly, we need to suspend [automatic voter registration]," State Rep. Avery Bourne (R-Litchfield).
State law protects people who are accidentally registered to vote, but if someone who is not a U.S. citizens casts a vote, they may face deportation.
Secretary of State Jesse White’s Office blames a programming error in the signature pad for what happened. Republicans say this incident shows its time to pump the brakes on motor-voter registration nationwide.
"I think today is a good day to remind my colleagues in Washington that we’ve got to make sure that protocols are in place in states that should be used in programs like this to ensure that it’s ready to go before we roll something out," Davis said.
Governor JB Pritzker says he wants answers, and Republicans are demanding an investigation into Secretary of State Jesse White’s office.