Republican lawmakers push for suspension of automatic voter registration

New problems with Illinois’ Automatic Voter Registration system are being reported just days after Gov. Pritzker said there are no plans to suspend the AVR program, even after it mistakenly registered more than 500 people.

Newly public glitches allowed approximately 4,700 16-year-olds to begin the voter registration process. Additionally, at least 297 people who opted out of automatic voter registration had their information sent to the Illinois’ election authority anyway. On Jan. 29, a Republican member of the State Board of Elections attempted to launch an independent investigation of the system, but the motion failed to receive the bipartisan support necessary to move forward. 

In a letter sent Jan. 30 to Secretary of State Jesse White, the members of the Senate Republican Caucus called for the program’s suspension until a thorough investigation can take place to ensure its integrity. 

“Our vote is our most cherished right in a democracy, and even just one illegal vote can tarnish the credibility of the entire system,” the Jan. 30 letter read.

These latest issues with the AVR system come after it was revealed just last week that the Secretary of State’s Office had forwarded 547 voter registrations to the State Board of Elections despite the fact that applicants had said they were not U.S. citizens.  On Jan. 21, all Republican Senators sent a letter to the Secretary of State’s office seeking further information about which locations erroneously registered voters, what investigatory steps would be taken and what would be done to prevent situations like this in the future.

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