* Back in 2015, Gov. Rauner made some GOP appointments to the Illinois State Board of Elections: Madison County Republican Party Chairman Andy Carruthers and New Trier Republican Party supporter William Cadigan. In March of 2017, Rauner appointed former Illinois Republican Party staffer Ian Linnabary and Winnetka resident Kate O’Brien to the board.
Now, check out the roll call on the ISBE motion yesterday to leave the highly controversial Crosscheck program…
William McGuffage, a Democrat from Chicago who has served on the board for 18 years, called Crosscheck “suspect for a lot of reasons.” He contended there was a “symbiotic relationship” between Kobach’s role in Kansas overseeing the multistate database and his role on “what I called the bogus Trump commission.”
Republican Board Chairman William Cadigan of Winnetka called it “a shame that this whole issue of voting list maintenance has gotten entangled” with Washington politics. But he said Illinois is required by federal law to have accurate voter registration lists and noted the state has received notice expressing concerns from the U.S. Department of Justice that could lead to litigation.
Republican board member Ian Linnabary of Rockford told board members he had spoken with Kansas election officials and had “good news” that a meeting of all member Crosscheck states about security concerns would be held within the next two weeks.
While Linnabary said that no board members feel “voter fraud is rampant,” he urged the panel to “take a step back” and not withdraw from Crosscheck while efforts are made to secure the system.
* Pritzker campaign…
Bruce Rauner’s handpicked members of the State Board of Elections voted yesterday to keep Illinois in the Crosscheck program, a key priority of Donald Trump in the “GOP’s stealth war against voters.”
While there’s no evidence of voter fraud in Illinois, the Trump administration is still pushing states to opt into the program that needlessly exposes personal information and could disenfranchise voters. Instead of standing up to protect Illinoisans, Rauner’s appointees sided with Donald Trump.
“All four members that Bruce Rauner appointed to the State Board of Elections chose fear over facts and stood firmly by Donald Trump’s side,” said Pritzker campaign spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh. “Illinois needs a governor who will protect voting rights and stand up to Trump’s relentless attacks on this state.”
…Adding… Press release…
In response to the Illinois State Board of Elections’ decision to continue to participate in the discriminatory, deeply flawed Interstate Voter Registration Data Crosscheck Program (Crosscheck), U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement:
“No American voter should ever be improperly disenfranchised because of inaccurate information, which makes the decision by the Illinois State Board of Elections to continue its use of Kris Kobach’s secretive Crosscheck system so disheartening,” said Senators Duckworth and Durbin. “This system could purge as many as 300 legitimate voter registrations for each registration it eliminates—it has no place in our state or our nation’s electoral system. Illinois can and must withdraw from Crosscheck to restore the integrity of our state’s elections and ensure all eligible voters are able to exercise their fundamental Constitutional rights at the ballot box.”
Duckworth and Durbin wrote to IL SBE last month asking the board to stop using the program to help maintain the accuracy of its voter registration system and to instead participate in a far more precise alternative, the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) multistate partnership, which has resulted in higher voter registration rates and increased voter turnout.
…Adding More… Press release…
State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) and State Senator Bill Cunningham plan to introduce legislation ending Illinois’ participation in the controversial Interstate Crosscheck system.
Despite calls from state and national legislators to withdraw from the program, the State Board of Elections voted Monday to remain in the national voter registration database.
“If the Board of Elections will not act to protect Illinois voters, then it is our duty as legislators to do so,” Raoul said. “The right to vote is sacred, and citizens in our state should know that their information is secure when they cast their ballot.”
At a joint hearing of the House Elections Committee and the Senate Telecommunications and Information Technology Committee last week, legislators heard testimony on security concerns with the system.
Shawn Davis, a faculty member at the Illinois Institute of Technology Center for Cyber Security and Forensics Education testified that the Crosscheck system uses an unsecured network system. Most websites handling sensitive information use secure file transmission networks called SFTPs.
“The risk of exposing the personal information of millions of Illinois voters to an Equifax-style data breach is not worth the small benefit of remaining in the Crosscheck system,” Cunningham said. “This should not be a partisan issue — it is a data protection issue and it must be addressed immediately.”
Additionally, many voting rights activists say that Crosscheck is a vehicle for discrimination at the voting booth. This is because Crosscheck 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.
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: Crosscheck and the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC). This legislation will remove Illinois from the Crosscheck system but allow the state to remain in ERIC, widely viewed as the better system.