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*** UPDATED x1 *** More SoS glitch details emerge

Thursday, Jan 23, 2020

* AP

At least three of 16 Illinois residents who cast ballots after being mistakenly registered to vote are U.S. citizens after all, election officials said Wednesday in assessing the damage caused by an error in the state’s automatic voter registration system.

Secretary of State Jesse White’s office, a key player in the system because it oversees driver’s licenses, said the data of 574 people who self-identified as noncitizens was mistakenly forwarded to elections officials to be registered to vote. Election officials said 545 of them were registered and 16 voted in 2018 and 2019 elections.

While those who checked a box on an electronic pad indicating they weren’t U.S. citizens should never have been registered, it turned out at least three from central Illinois counties are citizens. State Board of Elections spokesman Matt Dietrich said it appeared another two — who have long voting histories — were also likely citizens. Elections officials suggested one explanation was that the registrants may have been confused during the process.

Or it was simple (and predictable) human error. We now know that at least some folks who checked a box saying they weren’t citizens made a mistake. These things are actually guaranteed to happen on occasion because the process involves human beings. They can be minimized but never eliminated.

That doesn’t excuse the SoS computer glitch, however. And it doesn’t forgive the people who knew what was going on a month ago and failed to inform the public. That deliberate silence only further undermines their credibility.

…Adding… This all would’ve been long cleared up by now if they had simply disclosed the error and began working to figure out who was accidentally registered and who voted a month ago


There is no excuse for this delay.

*** UPDATE *** The House Executive Committee has just posted a subject matter hearing on the AVR glitch. The hearing will be held next Thursday, January 30th at 9 o’clock in the morning.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

32 Comments
  1. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 9:39 am:

    Maybe it is different now with increased crowds due to Real ID, but I was in a facility recently and didn’t have to answer that question. I was orally asked if I wanted to register and then the clerk realized I had provided my voter identification card as part of my ID. That notwithstanding I was asked several other questions related to my license and it was hard to hear the questions due to all the background noise in the facility. I can see how things like this might happen. If they still do things this way, perhaps add a second “Are you sure?” question to allow people to catch mistakes.


  2. - former southerner - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 9:43 am:

    I understand the concern over the glitch but perhaps the bigger concern is that the system is reliant upon self-reported data.


  3. - Downstate - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 9:47 am:

    Is it that easy to check a box (to identify as a citizen). Is there no check to make sure that non-citizens are being registered to vote? I think that is an even bigger issue, if that’s the case.


  4. - Bertrum Cates - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 9:50 am:

    = the bigger concern is that the system is reliant upon self-reported data. =

    Bingo.

    And at the risk of feeding the conspiracy theorists, the only reason we know about these few is because they self-identified.


  5. - thoughts matter - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 9:53 am:

    Unless said computer glitch is a hardware problem, there is a person behind it. A programming error is committed by a person. People, as the post says, commit mistakes.


  6. - @misterjayem - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 9:54 am:

    “Is there no check to make sure that non-citizens are being registered to vote? I think that is an even bigger issue, if that’s the case.”

    1) That is the case, and
    2) it has never been a issue to date.

    https://www.cookcountyclerk.com/sites/default/files/pdfs/Voter%20Registration%20Application%20-%20English.pdf

    – MrJM


  7. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 9:55 am:

    === Is it that easy===

    … and yet it was less than 0.078 of the voters.

    Also, do i need to bring up what SoS says their complicity is, or you gonna ignore it two days in a row.

    To the post,

    This is wholly unacceptable, the silence on this issue, until recently, is terribly fraught with a snowballing of conspiracies that coulda been explained and fixed in sunshine. They weren’t.

    There needs to be hearings, we need to understand what was done in the dark to fix this rounding error and why it won’t happen again due to the fixes in place.


  8. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 9:57 am:

    ===I think that is an even bigger issue===

    It is not the issue here. Stay on topic.


  9. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 9:57 am:

    –Is there no check to make sure that non-citizens are being registered to vote?–

    The check in these laws is a before the fact warning, and an after the fact penalty, where the person who votes is subject to potential charges, and as discussed in other threads, pretty well ruins their chances at staying in the country.


  10. - Dan Johnson - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 10:01 am:

    We should recognize the reality of lots of non-citizens (permanent legal residents and the undocumented) are here, permanently.

    AND we should have a category for permanent legal residents to register to vote ONLY for local tax referenda questions.

    They live here legally. They send their kids to schools. They pay taxes. They should vote in local tax questions.

    And that will likely help catch the inevitable human error so they can safely check their box as a permanent legal resident (or if they are undocumented, then they can check that box and not register to vote at all).


  11. - Demoralized - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 10:07 am:

    ==Is there no check to make sure that non-citizens are being registered to vote? ==

    And your drum beat goes on and on and on. Donald Trump would love you and all your conspiracy theories.


  12. - Ducky LaMoore - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 10:08 am:

    Stuff happens. Glitches happen. That is not the big deal. The big deal is the reaction to it, which seems minimal and feeds the trolls. Don’t feed the trolls. Fix it, and be open.


  13. - Demoralized - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 10:09 am:

    As long as this info keeps coming out drip by drip it’s going to make it all that much worse. It should have all been put out there in crystal clear format from the very beginning. Details coming out bit by bit don’t help with the crazy conspiracy crowd nor do they help with making people think they have things under control now.


  14. - Donnie Elgin - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 10:15 am:

    compare the AVR process with a traditional voters registration process at say a Village hall.The AVR is self reported and automated. The in-person registration is done (Cook and Dupage) on a paper form in the presence of a deputy registrar and the person has to attest to telling the truth about citizenship or nationalization status. Change the processes of the AVR to add more checks


  15. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 10:23 am:

    Let’s reset, before all the tin foil hats make baked potatoes of some;

    === Secretary of State Jesse White’s office discovered last month that between July 2, 2018, and Dec. 13, 2019, registration information of 574 people was “improperly forwarded” to local election authorities to be registered, even though those people had indicated while at secretary of state facilities that they were not citizens. ===

    “Secretary of State Jesse White’s office discovered last month“

    We are finding out about this, not in real time, but weeks after. Not great.

    “…that between July 2, 2018, and Dec. 13, 2019, registration information of 574 people was “improperly forwarded” to local election authorities to be registered…“

    Now, words matter. Registration information (from the SoS) was improperly forward… by the SoS, not the voter, not a conspiracy group, but the SoS.

    “…even though those people had indicated while at secretary of state facilities that they were not citizens.”

    Can that be clearer, I mean, you can’t get smaller words here.

    They, those getting licenses, indicated they were NOT citizens.

    Why this hearing is not only critical but important to shut down the “corrupt elections” folks, is if all that statement is true, and this is wholly unacceptable, there’s no “secret plot” of 0.078% of folks to corrupt any election at any level.

    Testify, prove, give facts, show remorse for not disclosing at the time, immediately, and how things were fixed.

    This is not a corrupting of the electoral process if that one statement by SoS is shown, in open committee, to be true.


  16. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 10:30 am:

    === Given the history of voting irregularities in Cook County it might be time for the U.S. Attorney’s office to look into this problem.===

    “Ding”… a baked potato is done.


  17. - Steve - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 10:39 am:

    Political scientists will tell you that even if 200 voters want to support a certain candidate humans do make errors making it virtually impossible for all 200 voters to vote for the candidate they want. In voting , you can’t always get what you want. Expect certain precincts in Chicago in 2012 that had 100% voting for a certain candidate according to NBC 5 Chicago. Kind of makes you wonder if certain signatories look amazingly similar .

    https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/in-37-chicago-precincts-romney-received-no-votes/1945440/


  18. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 10:42 am:

    - Steve -

    You don’t vote. You told us all here you don’t vote.

    If you’re not going to participate in the process, by your own admission, because it doesn’t matter to you, then your angst here is a trolling, a sad trolling to get attention,

    Wanted to note that. Good luck.


  19. - Anyone Remember - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 10:43 am:

    If any of these people were actually non-citizens, they can never become citizens, and can be deported. https://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/retired-episcopal-priest-who-served-in-alton-facing-deportation/article_85a9acd0-6b75-5238-a054-cc233d8d9296.html


  20. - brickle - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 11:18 am:

    so much hand-wringing over such a tiny number of potentially invalid votes, meanwhile deliberate and successful efforts to disenfranchise millions of otherwise legitimate voters across the country carry on unabated.


  21. - Steve - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 11:32 am:

    Some people actually believe that the political process is just voting. Go figure…


  22. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 11:37 am:

    Elections are done with votes.

    Not voting and taking pride in that is pathetic, then questioning the process in which you personally refuse to participate is sad. You’re trolling yourself. Congratulations.

    You’re counting on voters to do right, even as you don’t believe in voting. LOL

    Has anyone reached out to the 13 or 16 voters? I think 3 were deemed not only citizens but voted legally…


  23. - Pundent - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 11:48 am:

    =Some people actually believe that the political process is just voting.=

    Voting is what gives you the right to have an opinion. Once you self-identified as a non-voter you lost all credibility here. If you don’t vote it’s like reviewing a restaurant on Yelp that you’ve never eaten at.


  24. - Demoralized - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 11:51 am:

    ==is just voting==

    “Just voting” Steve? Voting is a pretty big cog in the political process wheel don’t you think? I would think a guy with lots of opinions like you may want to participate in the “just voting” thingy.


  25. - Skeptic - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 12:02 pm:

    ” that there were only 15 - not 16 - people”
    Darn it, this problem just keeps getting smaller. We’ve got to stop that [punctuation mark] /s


  26. - thoughts matter - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 12:12 pm:

    Steve- being a property owner has nothing to do with morals, rights, or opinions, and definitely not voting. You don’t get to pick which parts of the constitution to follow. All the amendments count too. Property owners just get the right to own their property and make some of the decisions about what happens there. Renters reimburse property owners’ property taxes as part of the rent. They aren’t free loaders.

    Rich- I apologize for feeding the trolls. I took the bait. .


  27. - cigarettes don't cause cancer - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 12:41 pm:

    This is wrong on so many levels.

    One level being that when people that find these types of problems feel obligated to release the info, quickly. They don’t. I’ve watched this playout many many times.


  28. - Pundent - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 12:46 pm:

    = that there were only 15 - not 16 - people=

    If this continues at this rate it won’t warrant a Fox News investigative report or ads on rampant voter fraud by “illegals”.

    Nah, I’m just kidding, we’ll still do that.


  29. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 1:06 pm:

    - Donnie Elgin - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 10:15 am:

    If you’re going to commit fraud on a form, why would filling out that form in front of a person with no immediate ability to verify your information stop you?

    Also, when I turned 18, I got a form and mailed it in to register, so no, the “traditional” process has not been been going to village hall. In fact for many people, it is part of door-to-door canvassing and high-traffic canvassing.


  30. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 2:33 pm:

    ==I understand the concern over the glitch but perhaps the bigger concern is that the system is reliant upon self-reported data.==

    ==Is it that easy to check a box (to identify as a citizen). Is there no check to make sure that non-citizens are being registered to vote? I think that is an even bigger issue, if that’s the case.==

    ==Is there no check to make sure that non-citizens are being registered to vote? ==

    I have served for many years as a Deputy Registrar. I have registered hundreds of voters. The process requires two forms of ID; one form of ID must have the registrant’s current address, both must have the registrant’s name, no photo ID is required.

    The registrant declares their citizenship by stating where they were born; if not born in the U.S., they state whether they were born of U.S. parents or are naturalized; if naturalized, they provide the location and date of naturalization. No birth certificate or other proof of citizenship is required.

    The registrant must swear (or affirm) that they are citizens, that they are fully qualified to vote, and that information they provide is true.

    Bottom line is this: If someone chooses to lie about their citizenship, they have always been able to do so. The form has a box to check and a place to sign and that is all. If they choose to lie, they do so under penalty of perjury; they “may be fined, may be fined, imprisoned, or, if I am not a U.S. citizen, deported from or refused entry into the United States.” (10 ILCS 5/1A-16)


  31. - Streamwood Retiree - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 4:30 pm:

    @Pot calling kettle I was a deputy registrar in 2008. I’m pretty sure that a photo ID was required. I registered several people at my job at a postal facility. I took their postal ID badge as one form of identification. One was a Chinese lady that I knew. (made her show me her ID anyway - pro forma). She was very happy when I showed her how to apply for an absentee ballot in Chinese.
    OTOH my Mom got a jury summons eight years after she died. I told the court clerk “She died in Cook County, don’t you people check records?” The court clerk told me (Oh, I see she would be 83, I’ll mark her as “over 70 declined to serve”). Mom is probably still voting in Cook County. I’m sure that she’s glad in Heaven. She always voted the straight (D) ticket anyhow.


  32. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 23, 20 @ 4:36 pm:

    === pretty sure that a photo ID was required===

    You need ID to register.


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