* Veto message…
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Bruce Rauner took action today on the following bill:
Bill No.: SB 2273
An Act Concerning Elections
Note: Veto Message Below
Veto Message for SB 2273
July 17, 2018
To the Honorable Members of
The Illinois Senate,
100th General Assembly:
Today I veto Senate Bill 2273 from the 100th General Assembly, which would limit the State of Illinois to participation in a single, exclusive interstate voter registration program.
The right to vote is the bedrock of our society and system of government, and this administration has demonstrated a commitment to increasing access to the vote. Last year, I signed historic automatic voter registration legislation to remove barriers for eligible Illinois voters to exercise their rights and encourage robust participation in the democratic process. In pursuing this expansion of registration, I have also remained focused on ensuring the integrity of the electoral system and pursuing opportunities to identify and investigate potential voter fraud.
One major way that Illinois combats fraudulent voting is through participation in programs that allow cross-referencing voter information from various states to identify where individuals are and are not eligible to vote. This legislation would hinder that effort by prohibiting the State from utilizing any interstate voter registration program other than that provided by the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), except for limited opportunities to contract with our border states that do not use the ERIC program. This prohibition could result in inefficiencies and gaps in knowledge, as less than half of states currently participate in ERIC, many of which will not qualify for separate contractual data sharing agreements under this legislation.
There is no need to codify such a limitation in state law and hamstring Illinois’ efforts to combat voter fraud when other safeguards are available to ensure the security, reliability, and appropriate use of any data being shared.
The security of Illinoisans’ personal data is of utmost importance, but the law does not mandate that Illinois participate in any database or program other than ERIC. When other options are available, the State Board of Elections is best situated to determine the risks associated with a given data sharing program. Instead of legislating limitations on our options, we should empower and rely on the Board to determine what programs are appropriate for voting fraud identification in Illinois and to monitor those programs to ensure their transparent and accountable use.
Furthermore, voter registration data should never be used to curb the legitimate exercise of the right to vote. But completely prohibiting potential sources of information that could help identify fraud and abuse in our election system is the wrong solution. The law already protects against potential mistakes or misinterpretations of data that could risk an eligible voter’s participation in an election. Before a voter’s registration is removed from the rolls, election authorities are required to give notice under both state and federal law, which provides an opportunity to respond to and resolve disputed registration status. Beyond that, in the unlikely event that a voter’s registration is inappropriately cancelled, Illinois’ same day voter registration opportunities allow for voters to properly identify themselves and correct the error up to and including election day.
The importance of pursuing both access to legal voting and integrity of the system cannot be overstated, but structural protections are a more appropriate way for Illinois to continue balancing these priorities than blanket prohibitions on current and future options for mitigating fraud.
Therefore, pursuant to Section 9(b) of Article IV of the Illinois Constitution of 1970, I hereby return Senate Bill 2273, entitled “AN ACT concerning elections,” with the foregoing objections, vetoed in its entirety.
…Adding… Press release…
State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) criticized Gov. Bruce Rauner for vetoing legislation that would have ended Illinois’ participation in the controversial Crosscheck voter registration system.
“I can only suppose that the governor’s veto was politically motivated, as this piece of legislation is a sensible way to protect voter information,” Raoul said. “We have heard from numerous experts that the Crosscheck system is unsafe and that it can be used as a tool to discriminate and suppress voters. There is no reason to continue using this system when we have a better option readily available.”
The Illinois Board of Elections currently subscribes to two national voter database systems designed to help election authorities identify voters who may be registered in more than one state: the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program and the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC). Raoul’s legislation, Senate Bill 2273, would have removed Illinois from the Crosscheck system but allowed the state to remain in ERIC, widely viewed as the better system.
Cyber security experts testified to a joint committee last year that the Crosscheck system has several security concerns that make private information easily accessible.
Additionally, many voting rights activists say that Crosscheck is a vehicle for discrimination at the voting booth. The system compares first and last names of state voter databases, ignoring middle names and designations like Jr. or Sr. This is viewed as problematic by experts because communities of color are more likely to share last names, making them easy targets for voter suppression.
“Illinois residents deserve a governor who will act in their best interest rather than blindly following a partisan agenda,” Raoul said. “Despite the governor’s actions today, I remain committed to my long record of fighting for voting rights in our state.”
* Another one…
Today the governor rejected legislation co-sponsored by State Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago) that would have ended Illinois’ participation in the deeply flawed and discriminatory Crosscheck system.
“Crosscheck threatens the rights of Illinoisans to participate in our democracy,” Collins said. “It has been used as a discriminatory tool to purge voter rolls in other states, a practice which we attempted to prevent here. I am disappointed that the governor chose to continue to use this faulty system that also puts all Illinois voters’ information at a cybersecurity risk.”
Senate Bill 2273, co-sponsored by Collins, would have discontinued Illinois’ involvement in the controversial Crosscheck system, which is used by election authorities to identify voters who may be registered in multiple states.
Crosscheck has been found to adversely affect voters with similar last names by disregarding middle names and designations like Jr. or Sr. and only comparing first and last names. Furthermore, Crosscheck takes inadequate measures to safeguard voters’ personal data from cybersecurity threats.
“Illinoisans should be able to participate in our democracy without fear of their personal identification being compromised,” Collins said. “I will continue to work to end Illinois’ participation in Crosscheck.”
* And another…
ov. Rauner took steps today to endanger Illinois voter’s personal information.
Rauner vetoed Senate Bill 2273 which would prohibit the Illinois State Board of Elections from sharing any voter information with the controversial Crosscheck system or any other interstate voter registration program other than the mandated Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC).
State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) is outraged that the governor supports storing sensitive voter registration information unnecessarily on insecure servers.
“Elections empower residents to take an active role in the democratic process. Illinois’ citizens should be able to register to vote without fear that their personal information may be susceptible to hackers,” Cullerton said.
Illinois currently participates in two multistate voter registration sharing programs: Crosscheck and ERIC.
State elections officials say the ERIC system provides more reliable information and greater security for personal information than Crosscheck.
Crosscheck is managed by Kansas’ Secretary of State Kris Kobach, and according to researchers at Harvard and Stanford, the program compares data that is insufficient to produce dependable results.
Astoundingly, researchers found Crosscheck was 99 percent more likely to purge legitimate voter from the rolls as opposed to illegitimate ones. The system is also a glaring security risk, as it uses minimal IT security and its operators have demonstrated a disregard for basic cybersecurity protocol, leading to the personal information of Illinois of voters vulnerable to hacking, tampering and manipulation.
The data is stored on a standard server in Arkansas, which the state admits is insecure.
Illinois’ election board’s 2016 election hacking was referenced in the indictment of 12 Russian hackers which resulted in the theft of the information of approximately 500,000 voters.
State Board of Elections officials testified during legislative hearings that hackers took voters’ names, addresses, birth dates and, in some cases, their driver’s license numbers and the last four digits of their Social Security numbers.
“Gov. Rauner needs to learn from the lessons of the past. It’s his duty to ensure Illinois’ residents have faith in our state’s electoral process,” Cullerton said. “Once again, Gov. Rauner is not willing to consider commonsense solutions to protect Illinois’ citizens.”