Democratic state lawmakers announced a plan Thursday to halt Illinois’ participation in a controversial multi-state voter registration database after efforts to persuade the State Board of Elections failed.
The legislation would remove Illinois from the Kansas-run Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program, a free and voluntary program that helps states determine if voters are registered in more than one state.
However, advocacy groups in Illinois and elsewhere argue Crosscheck isn’t secure and could contribute to voter suppression. They’ve also raised questions about the partisan ties of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. He oversees Crosscheck and is a chairman of President Donald Trump’s election fraud commission, which is investigating unsubstantiated claims that millions voted illegally in 2016.
Advocacy groups including Indivisible Chicago and the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois pushed for a recent legislative hearing where an expert pointed to security flaws with emailed passwords and unsecured servers storing voters’ names and dates of birth. […]
Also, there isn’t yet bipartisan support. A message left for Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s spokeswoman wasn’t immediately returned Thursday. The State Board of Elections was split 4-4 on party lines to exit the program.
* Press release…
Crosscheck, which was pioneered by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, is seen by many as nothing more than an attempt to keep minorities from voting.
Senator Raoul has made his opposition to the racially-biased program clear, calling for the state to cease using it at once.
“Crosscheck can be used to knock valid voters off the rolls, and it disproportionately impacts minority voters, who are more likely to share last names and be flagged by the system,” Raoul said. “That flies in the face of the voter protection policies we have embraced in Illinois.”
Earlier this month, a joint committee heard testimony from Shawn Davis, a faculty member at the Illinois Institute of Technology Center for Cyber Security and Forensics Education. Davis testified that the Crosscheck system has several security concerns that make private personal information easily accessible. While most websites handling sensitive information use secure file transmission networks called SFTPs, Crosscheck uses an unsecured network system.
Senator Cunningham says the state should address these concerns by leaving Crosscheck to protect voter information.
That’s one of the state’s two voter database systems used to identify voters who are registered in more than one state.
The other is the Electronic Registration Information Center, commonly called ERIC. […]
“When you look at the security between two of the systems, the ERIC system, and the Crosscheck system, it is evident that Crosscheck is a far inferior program that makes data susceptible to hackers,” Sen. Michael Hastings, D-Tinley Park, said. […]
Over half the states in the union currently use the International Crosscheck system and 16 states and Washington, D.C. use the ERIC system.
One of the arguments people employ on behalf of staying in Crosscheck is that ERIC only has a handful of participants and neighboring states don’t use it, perhaps because it costs money.