The State Board of Elections on Monday rejected an effort to remove Illinois from the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program, leaving the state in a controversial system aimed at flagging voters registered in multiple states. The 4-4 split along partisan lines pitted election officials’ desires to have accurate voter rolls against concerns the system can be inaccurate and vulnerable to hackers looking for personal information — with a dash of political intrigue on the side. Republicans voted against leaving the system at Monday’s election board meeting, and Democrats were for it. Illinois is among more than two dozen states participating in the program known as Crosscheck. But the program has drawn increasing criticism after other states have wiped out voter registrations based solely on its findings without following procedures spelled out in federal voting rights laws. Because Monday’s vote was tied, the state remains in the program.
Indivisible Chicago, a progressive group formed following President Donald Trump‘s election, has raised security concerns involving Illinois voters’ personal information, but there are also political considerations. The top election official in Crosscheck’s home state, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, is the co-chair of a Trump-appointed panel on voter fraud that Democrats contend is aimed at trying to push voter suppression measures.
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.”