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Another attempt to get to the bottom of that Rauner veto

Tuesday, Aug 16, 2016 - Posted by Rich Miller

* The governor’s office sent another statement yesterday about Rauner’s Friday veto of the automatic voter registration bill. I asked Abe Scarr from Illinois PIRG to respond point by point and his comments are indented and in italics…

The National Voter Registration Act lays out three specific requirements for voter registration at driver’s licenses facilities (DMVs). Each voter registration application must “(i) state each eligibility requirement (including citizenship); (ii) contain an attestation that the applicant meets each such requirement; and (iii) require the signature of the applicant, under penalty of perjury” (42 USC 1973gg-3(c)(2)(C)).

Under SB 250, a driver is given a choice to register at the DMV. If the driver declines, the Secretary of State is directed to process the voter registration application anyway – “regardless of whether or not the individual attested to his or her eligibility to register to vote.” In that case, how will the driver attest to meeting the requirements to vote or sign the application under penalty of perjury?

    Federal law does not require an attestation at the DMV. It requires the opportunity to attest. If the individual does not attest in this circumstance, they will only be registered if they have shown documentary evidence of their eligibility.

During discussions, proponents indicated that the Secretary of State will post a copy of the eligibility requirements at the facility, and that those requirements will be stated in a “script” used by DMV employees. That is not adequate to protect our election system and falls short of the basic requirements of the NVRA.

    That is not quite right. Individuals will be directly provided with the eligibility requirements in writing as part of their interaction. This fulfills the requirements of the NVRA.

    An individual who does not attest at the DMV will -only- be registered if they provided documentary evidence of their eligibility. And if they attest but show documentary evidence of their ineligibility, they will not be registered. This is more secure than our current system. In fact, two of the three examples of non-citizens being accidentally registered at the DMV would have been prevented were the provisions of SB250 in place.

SB 250 also requires the source agencies (e.g. the Secretary of State, Department of Healthcare and Family Services, Department of Human Services, Department on Aging, and Department of Employment Security) to share citizenship information with the State Board of Elections to enable the State Board to screen the data for noncitizens.

    This is inaccurate. SB250 only requires this of the SOS -not the other sources agencies. SB250 was written with a different process for SOS and for other agencies. The other (non-dmv) agencies would only pass along applications for individuals who do attest to their eligibility, and does not require those agencies to share records of citizenship information shown.

The bill provides: “After each transaction, the agency shall electronically transfer to the State Board of Elections personal information relevant to voter registration, including all records of documents relating to identity, address, and citizenship.” The State Board is then tasked with screening the registrations and removing any noncitizens.

    This is true for SOS, not other agencies.

But various federal laws prohibit this information sharing. For example, HFS advised us that federal Medicaid rules and data sharing agreements prohibit HFS from sharing this data with the State Board. For that reason, we suggested that agencies filter the data before sharing with the State Board of Elections. Proponents indicated that this was their preferred course originally, but that they modified the draft of the bill because the Secretary of State did not want to conduct this screening.

    This is correct - we did originally propose that the screening occur at the source agencies. And we are OK in principle with this process — which should be easier now at the DMV because of changes made as part of real ID.

Proponents note that five other states have moved to automatic voter registration, but those states provide additional protections that SB 250 does not. For example, the Oregon DMV screens its records and processes automatic voter registrations only for persons for whom the DMV has verified citizenship; and voters are required to attest to meeting the qualifications to vote at the time of voting. In California, a person must attest to meeting the qualifications to vote at the DMV and may opt-out. SB 250 does not incorporate these protections.

In private discussions, proponents have conceded that the bill does not clearly reflect the process they envisioned. We appreciate that they are willing to make many of the changes that we believe are necessary. For that reason, the Governor remains willing to work with them to pass a bill later this year that accomplishes their goals, expands voting opportunities, and protects the integrity of our voting system.

    Because we wrote the bill in an open process that included input from impacted agencies and legislative leaders from both parties, and because we made tweaks as we went, portions of the legislative language are not as clean as if we started from scratch. That’s how this sausage was made. The bill does reflect the process we envision.

* More from Scarr…

The bill treats Drivers Services and other agencies differently. Drivers Services is the only agency that would share the data for all individuals (besides TVDL applicants). Beyond the basic information they already share with the State Board for voter registration applications, they would also share a record of what specific documentation the individual presented in getting their driver’s license or state ID. That would allow the state board to “screen” that data and pass along applications to local election officials of those who have documented they are eligible, and not pass along information for those that have documented they are ineligible.

Other agencies would only share data for individuals who do affirm their qualifications while interacting with the agency. We wrote the bill to not have the same data sharing and screening process at the other agencies a) to fully comply with the NVRA which requires a yes/no question at those agencies b) because many agencies lack the relevant data, which would make the process inefficient.

So yes it is true that federal law does limit what information some agencies can share, but that is irrelevant as the bill does not ask them to share that information.

* Related…

* Orr denounces Rauner veto of automatic voter registration

* Democrats, advocates blast Rauner veto of automatic voter registration bill

* Democrats Slam Rauner For Veto Of Automatic Voter Registration

* Proponents of automatic voter registration sound off after Rauner veto

* Rauner veto of automatic voter registration bill sparks outrage

* Rauner, Democrats in major fight over voter rules

* Editorial: Soooo embarrassed by public disclosures

       

28 Comments
  1. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Aug 16, 16 @ 9:13 am:

    I love it when Rauners Perfidy is exposed.


  2. - Former State Employee - Tuesday, Aug 16, 16 @ 9:17 am:

    It gets very scary when everyone gets to vote. Who knows who might win? Oh My…..


  3. - slow down - Tuesday, Aug 16, 16 @ 9:22 am:

    The Governor’s concerns with this law are — to borrow a phrase his administration likes to use — a SHAM.


  4. - The Captain - Tuesday, Aug 16, 16 @ 9:30 am:

    Automatic voter registration is far, far more complicated in execution than in concept.


  5. - Louis G. Atsaves - Tuesday, Aug 16, 16 @ 9:31 am:

    So a non-citizen renews his drivers license, and the SOS automatically processes voter registration under this law? So if the status of the voting “right” of a non-citizen is not caught by the State Board of Elections, then the response is just “whoopsie daisy!” When confronted, the non-citizen will say “I never registered!” To which the response is, “yes you did.” But fortunately, since an affidavit is out of the question, no criminal prosecution can occur.

    If the SOS can process this information to the State Board of Elections, it begs another touchy question: “Can the SOS also transmit the photograph on the license or State ID so that a photo voter ID can be issued at no charge to the voter?”

    It sounds like this bill can (and should be) improved. The “voter suppression” shrieks yesterday were a little over the top. And did Rep. Currie really call Rauner a “jerk” for this veto?

    If Oregon and California, two states not known for suppressing much of anything, can figure this out, why didn’t SB250 mirror their provisions instead of coming up short on many of the “safety” features they built into their legislation?


  6. - DGD - Tuesday, Aug 16, 16 @ 9:38 am:

    I don’t see how anyone is getting disenfranchised by this veto. You can still register by all of the means currently available. The SOS will even forward your application to the proper election authority when you change the address on your drivers license (oh the horror):

    https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/drivers/motorvoter.html


  7. - Doug Simpson - Tuesday, Aug 16, 16 @ 9:43 am:

    Amend the Constitution of the United States of America (my country) to include a Right to Vote.

    It was Amended most recently to give 18 year olds the Right to Vote.

    Oh, and by the way, there is no such thing as a Right to Work either. This same Constitution would need to be Amended to include that specific Right.


  8. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Aug 16, 16 @ 9:52 am:

    Slightly, off topic, David “Let ‘Em All Vote” Orr was also bemoaning the fact that when voters move they have to re-register to reflect their new addresses as if this poses some great hardship. Sheesh! This particular rule is not voter suppression it is the law and it is common sense too.


  9. - Lech W - Tuesday, Aug 16, 16 @ 9:57 am:

    The Gov’s veto has the liberal think tanks going rabid; to me that is a sign that Rauner did the right thing. Senator Harmon has already gotten SB 172 signed into law and it allows same day registration on Election Day and extended early voting.


  10. - Doug Simpson - Tuesday, Aug 16, 16 @ 10:08 am:

    Slightly, off topic.

    Republican “There is so much voter fraud” Party cant grasp that this has been investigated in Texas.

    2 cases of voter fraud out of tens of millions of votes. And I think the 2 cases of voter fraud occurred in the White Community. NOT PATRIOTIC!

    Just to put this in perspective, Donald Trump has been married more times.


  11. - Anonnin' - Tuesday, Aug 16, 16 @ 10:12 am:

    So BigBrain gets voter suppression honors for this round…which SuperStar gets credit for the phony excuses that just got a full shredding. Maybe they were cyberattacked and this is a hoax excuse?


  12. - Matt Vernau - Tuesday, Aug 16, 16 @ 10:27 am:

    Just so I understand there are 700,000 voters in Cook County who have moved and are not properly registered to vote, we don’t necessarily know what they look like nor how many sets of id’s they may own and the precinct staff may never have seen them before but we can’t find any voter fraud. Maybe voting rights should be tied to the voters personal responsibility to identify himself and update his records as appropriate. Just saying.


  13. - Abe - Tuesday, Aug 16, 16 @ 10:30 am:

    - Louis G. Atsaves - Tuesday, Aug 16, 16 @ 9:31 am:

    So a non-citizen renews his drivers license, and the SOS automatically processes voter registration under this law?

    —————
    No - this would never happen under the law — especially with Real ID going into effect, the DMV should have documentation of citizenship status for all applicants. Anyone who documents they are not eligible would not have a voter registration application created, full stop.

    This is more secure than our current system.


  14. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Aug 16, 16 @ 11:00 am:

    =The “voter suppression” shrieks yesterday were a little over the top.=

    The “voter FRAUD” shrieks yesterday were a little over the top.

    Fixed it for you.

    Please share any genuine voter fraud evidence that you are privy to, otherwise that is just another dog whistle from the “Frightened Right.”


  15. - Louis G. Atsaves - Tuesday, Aug 16, 16 @ 11:17 am:

    ===”Anyone who documents they are not eligible . . .”

    This is where it gets confusing to me. They don’t have to document they are not eligible, yet the form gets processed anyway. It is then up to the State Board of Elections to catch it and toss it, if the citizenship status is somehow properly reported them, but not by the applicant, even if the applicant refuses to fill out the form? Whew!

    In Oregon and California, that strange situation does not seem to exist under their legislation. Yet SB250 came short of meeting those safety standards. Why?


  16. - @MisterJayEm - Tuesday, Aug 16, 16 @ 11:25 am:

    “Automatic voter registration is far, far more complicated in execution than in concept.”

    True for every aspect of representative democracy.

    – MrJM


  17. - Federalist - Tuesday, Aug 16, 16 @ 11:29 am:

    Good to see a number of posters with different angles on a process that should be relatively simple but seems to have many legal complications.

    Just my opinion but it has always seemed weird to me that the DL office would be the place to register to vote, why not register for other unrelated government services as well. We already have a government agency responsible for this (County Clerk). It sure never stopped me from registering. Use it. If it needs reformed and changes need to be made then make them.

    In the final analysis this seems to be more about politics, take you side, than it does about an effective way for citizens to register to vote and the process maintain its integrity.


  18. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Aug 16, 16 @ 11:29 am:

    If your sole criteria for determining the existence of vote fraud is the number of successful prosecutions, you are probably going to come up empty because vote fraud is rarely prosecuted. People playing with ballots seldom telegraph their activities. To deny it ever happens is to deny reality especially in Chicago where a convicted practitioner (Longo) with links to both Dick Mell and Rod Blagojevich managed to travel from one plum patronage job to another despite being tried and convicted by the Feds.

    Most voting laws are designed to deter vote fraud before it happens. Prosecutions are more difficult because the cases have to be made after the fact.

    Voter registration requirements are generally good safeguards and it is tiresome to hear constant complaints about how difficult it is easy to register or produce a form of identification.


  19. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Aug 16, 16 @ 11:31 am:

    Oops — “how difficult it is to register.”


  20. - Groucho - Tuesday, Aug 16, 16 @ 11:48 am:

    I would someone to explain why the current system is so bad.

    In my opinion it has never been hard to register to vote in Chicago. Proof of address, age and citizenship. Change your address when you move. It took a little effort by the potential voter to actually go the library to register. But that’s it. I suppose having to register more than 30 days before the election was somewhat restrictive, but that has improved.

    Also, I thought absentee voting rules were a bit restrictive, but early voting makes that better.

    I would someone to explain why the current system is so bad.


  21. - Federalist - Tuesday, Aug 16, 16 @ 11:51 am:

    - Anonymous - Tuesday, Aug 16, 16 @ 11:29 am

    “Most voting laws are designed to deter vote fraud before it happens. Prosecutions are more difficult because the cases have to be made after the fact.”

    An excellent point and an ‘inconvenient truth’ that many skilled politicians are well aware of and hope that the public is to stupid to realize.


  22. - Abe - Tuesday, Aug 16, 16 @ 12:00 pm:

    - Louis G. Atsaves - Tuesday, Aug 16, 16 @ 11:17 am:
    ===”Anyone who documents they are not eligible . . .”

    This is where it gets confusing to me. They don’t have to document they are not eligible, yet the form gets processed anyway.

    —- If they do not document they are eligible, or do not affirm they are eligible, it does NOT get processed. You do not currently *have* to document citizenship status at the DMV but many do because you have to document five things to get an ID/license. —

    It is then up to the State Board of Elections to catch it and toss it, if the citizenship status is somehow properly reported them, but not by the applicant, even if the applicant refuses to fill out the form? Whew!

    – Correct - SB250 was crafted to give the information for the SBE to easily make this determination. Its data in a spreadsheet. Not tough for software to do “if A then B” algorithm —

    In Oregon and California, that strange situation does not seem to exist under their legislation. Yet SB250 came short of meeting those safety standards. Why?

    — SB250 did not come short on safety standards. California and Oregon have different models. SB250 is modeled after OR. OR is a “legal presence” state - i.e. you have to document your citizenship status when getting a state ID or driver’s license. Illinois currently is not, which added a layer of complication to everything. In OR/CA like many states, the DMV and the statewide election authority are both housed within the SOS. IL is different, and SB250 was written to work in IL.

    As of next summer, because of Real ID, everyone should be documenting citizenship status. Even without that, the way SB250 was written, only individuals who either a) affirm they are eligible or b) document they are eligible would have a voter registration application generated. Further, if you affirm you are eligible but document that you are not eligible, your application would be pulled. —


  23. - titan - Tuesday, Aug 16, 16 @ 12:13 pm:

    The general concept of AVR for all eligible people is not particularly controversial (or shouldn’t be). This particular bill does a number of things that needless complicate it and run up the cost of implementation (at a time when the state is broke and the counties are in bad shape too).

    Why not let people who know they aren’t eligible or just don’t want to be registered (or want to keep their registration address at a different address where either address is viable)? That would save a lot of postage cost and avoid a lot of expensive programming for the state and counties to create a registration limbo status for registrations while the mailing process plays out.


  24. - JoeMaddon - Tuesday, Aug 16, 16 @ 12:22 pm:

    **Maybe voting rights should be tied to the voters personal responsibility to identify himself and update his records as appropriate.**

    Or her? Women are allowed to vote, you know.


  25. - Federalist - Tuesday, Aug 16, 16 @ 12:25 pm:

    JoeMaddon - Tuesday, Aug 16, 16 @ 12:22 pm:

    **Maybe voting rights should be tied to the voters personal responsibility to identify himself and update his records as appropriate.**

    Or her? Women are allowed to vote, you know.

    A little advanced planning and personal responsibility? Sure you jest.


  26. - anon - Tuesday, Aug 16, 16 @ 12:41 pm:

    Thirteen House Republicans voted for SB250. Apparently they didn’t recognize all the problems the governor now claims are there. The House members thrown under the bus include Sandack, Tryon, Sullivan, McAuliffe, Pritchard, and Moffitt.


  27. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Aug 16, 16 @ 2:10 pm:

    I was reading some old newspaper articles about Evanston and stumbled across a vote fraud investigation in an aldermanic election in which fifty voters were registered to a single home! My favorite story was how Jake Arvey’s 24th Ward delivered a total equal to 110% of the registered voters for FDR.


  28. - PublicServant - Tuesday, Aug 16, 16 @ 3:25 pm:

    Just override the veto. Nuff said.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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