The Aurora Election Commission could cease existence by as early as the middle of May. A planned appearance on May 15 by all parties involved before 16th Circuit Court Judge David Akemann could result in Akemann entering an order confirming the results of the March primary referendum in which Aurorans voted to eliminate the commission. If he enters that order, the Election Commission would have 24 hours to dissolve. As it is, Election Commission representatives have been working with people from the Kane County Clerk’s Office and the city of Aurora to take care of things before the commission ceases operations. All parties involved met before Akemann last week for a status update.Full Article: Aurora Election Commission could end by mid-May - Aurora Beacon-News.
Articles about voting issues in Illinois.
The State Board of Elections recently held a public hearing at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston to give the public a chance to learn more about the upcoming implementation of Illinois’ automatic voter registration, set to begin in July. But in many ways, voters won’t be “automatically” registered to vote unless they seek a new federally compliant ID starting next January. The new system will phase in starting July 1. At that time, anyone who goes to their local Department of Motor Vehicles, whether to change a title or get a new driver’s license, will be able to opt in to register to vote or update their voting information electronically.Full Article: Officials outline 'Automatic' voter registration | Local News | shelbyvilledailyunion.com.
Momentum is growing to change the way political boundaries are drawn in Illinois, but disagreements about how to accomplish that persist. The problem is Illinois’ gerrymandered maps have been blamed for more than 60 percent of statehouse races only having one candidate in the 2016 general election. The existing process leaves the decision to the legislature, which is a partisan body. A previous citizen-led petition drive that garnered more than half-a-million signatures was thwarted in the courts in 2016 by a group connected to House Speaker Michael Madigan.Full Article: Nine competing proposals aim to change political map-making process | State Politics | ilnews.org.
Illinois lawmakers are working to give people behind bars while awaiting trial a better opportunity to vote. The bill would require election officials to collaborate with county jails to provide voter registration forms to eligible voters who are in jail while awaiting trial. Those serving time after being convicted are not able to vote while in custody. State Rep. Juliana Stratton, D-Springfield, said many people in jail while awaiting trial don’t know they can vote.Full Article: Illinois lawmakers move on effort to expand voting from jail | Justice | ilnews.org.
There’s a growing push to change how Illinois handles early voting. The first day of early voting for the March 20th primary was Feb. 8. That’s 40 days before the election. Board of Election Commissioners for the City of Chicago spokesman Jim Allen told a crowd at an Illinois Campaign for Political Reform event on Thursday that Illinois’ early voting law is unworkable because it requires local election offices to be ready a month and ten days before the actual election day. “Forty days is a Biblical number. It doesn’t work for elections,” Allen said. “It’s time in the desert, it’s time on the mount, it’s not early voting time. We were doing great with 15 to 20 days for many, many years.”Full Article: Push For Changing State's Early Voting | Alton Daily News.
Galesburg, Ill., appears to be a typical small town, nestled in the farmlands of the Midwest. But the unassuming slice of the American heartland, which was the site of an Abraham Lincoln-Stephen Douglas debate in 1858, was invaded by the Russians during the 2016 presidential election through a cyberattack on the state’s voter registration rolls. “The greatest concern that I have is that a foreign entity gets in and doesn’t change a vote, but they just create instability that enough of the American people can’t trust the vote,” Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., told Fox News.Full Article: Russian 'hack' of 2016 voter rolls leaves Galesburg, Illinois, reeling - Story | WFLD.
Illinois: Redistricting advocates lobbying Illinois lawmakers to consider Fair Maps Amendment | Associated Press
Some advocates are pushing for an Illinois constitutional amendment to change how legislative districts are created in the state. Redistricting advocates have asked lawmakers to consider their proposed Fair Maps Amendment that would form a 16-member independent commission to draw new districts, the Daily Herald reported. The commission would consist of seven Democrats, seven Republicans and two independents chosen by the state Supreme Court. The U.S. Constitution requires legislative and congressional boundaries to be redrawn every decade. The process in Illinois is dictated by the party in power, which some critics have said allows parties to manipulate boundaries to remain in control.Full Article: Redistricting advocates lobbying Illinois lawmakers to consider Fair Maps Amendment | Government and Politics | thesouthern.com.
Illinois: DuPage County Board blasts election commission for stunning voting machine snafu | Naperville Sun
DuPage County officials did not mince words this week in criticizing their election commission for voting machine problems that resulted in DuPage being the last Illinois county to post results after polls closed in the March 20 primary. “There’s no excuse,” DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin said. “It’s stunning, to me, in the level of incompetence.” Critique during Tuesday morning’s County Board meeting followed an advisory referendum where 56 percent of voters said yes last week to a proposition for the county clerk’s office to take over election commission duties. The scrutiny also has brought to light other problem areas with DuPage elections.Full Article: DuPage County Board blasts election commission for stunning voting machine snafu - Naperville Sun.
With the Illinois primary just hours away, state election officials are beefing up cyber defenses and scanning for possible intrusions into voting systems and voter registration rolls. They have good reason to be on guard: Two years ago, Illinois was the lone state known to have its state election system breached in a hacking effort that ultimately targeted 21 states. Hackers believe to be connected to Russia penetrated the state’s voter rolls, viewing data on some 76,000 Illinois voters, although there is no indication any information was changed. Since then, Illinois election officials have added firewalls, installed software designed to prevent intrusions and shifted staffing to focus on the threats. The state has been receiving regular cyber scans from the federal government to identify potential weak spots and has asked the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to conduct a comprehensive risk assessment. That assessment is scheduled but did not happen before Illinois’s second-in the-nation primary.Full Article: Illinois Beefs Up Cybersecurity Ahead of Primary | WNIJ and WNIU.
With the Illinois primary just days away, state election officials are beefing up cyber defenses and scanning for possible intrusions into voting systems and voter registration rolls. They have good reason to be on guard: Two years ago, Illinois was the lone state known to have its state election system breached in a hacking effort that ultimately targeted 21 states. Hackers believe to be connected to Russia penetrated the state’s voter rolls, viewing data on some 76,000 Illinois voters, although there is no indication any information was changed. Since then, Illinois election officials have added firewalls, installed software designed to prevent intrusions and shifted staffing to focus on the threats. The state has been receiving regular cyber scans from the federal government to identify potential weak spots and has asked the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to conduct a comprehensive risk assessment. That assessment is scheduled but will not happen before Tuesday’s second-in the-nation primary.Full Article: Security of state voter rolls a concern as primaries begin | Tri-City Herald.
Aurora has had its own Election Commission since 1934. Voters on March 20 will decide whether that will continue. People through the years have called for the abolition of the Aurora Election Commission, calling it an unneeded governmental body, inefficient and out-moded. Others defend the commission as a convenience to Aurora voters, and a hedge against politics and the possibility of playing games with elections. In 1986, voters decidedly rejected an attempt to abolish the commission with about 60 percent of the voters supporting it. In the 1990s, another effort to put the question on the ballot never got that far.Full Article: Voters to decide fate of Aurora Election Commisson - Aurora Beacon-News.
Illinois: In the aftermath of Russian interference, local election officials say security efforts are crucial | Chicago Tribune
Protecting the integrity of American elections against foreign hackers is a more difficult job than preventing voter fraud, but election officials in Lake and Cook counties say they are working to to do both. U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Deerfield) met with local election officials Wednesday at the Northbrook Public Library to discuss the steps that have been taken to prevent or minimize interference since the 2016 election and to look for ways to prevent it in the upcoming primary and general elections. Joining Schneider was Cook County Clerk David Orr, Lake County Clerk Carla Wyckoff, Noah Praetz, the director of elections for Cook County, and Debra Nieto, chief deputy Lake County clerk.Full Article: In the aftermath of Russian interference, local election officials say security efforts are crucial - Northbrook Star.
Most people would not expect a 13-year-old computer to function properly, yet Illinois has allowed its voting technology to become just as obsolete, said Sarah Brune, executive director of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform. The nonprofit political advocacy group is working with Illinois officials to raise awareness of the state’s aging voting equipment and the need for new voting machines. Some voting jurisdictions are still using floppy disks, and election administrators have to search the internet for replacement parts, according to Brune. The last time Chicago purchased voting equipment was in 2005, said Jim Allen, spokesman for the Chicago Board of Elections. While the current system has not had security issues, new equipment would improve election transparency and auditing processes. Suburban Cook County is in need of an update too, he added.Full Article: Aging equipment could threaten future Illinois elections | Metro | columbiachronicle.com.
Early voter season is in full swing and now some are raising the question about election equipment. Many counties are using systems more than a decade old. Some fear it could impact votes. It’s important to note, voter machines are only used twice a year. By law, they have to be checked and repaired constantly before use. Still, the non-profit Illinois Campaign for Political Reform is calling for a statewide assessment. They say outdated technology is a threat to election security, especially since cyberattacks are more common. There hasn’t been a statewide effort to update voter machines since the federal government granted the state $2 billion in 2002. Local governments are responsible for paying and updating their systems.Full Article: Election equipment up to the task? | IllinoisHomepage.
The polls have opened for Illinois’ primary election, as voters were allowed to start casting early ballots Thursday. But the state’s election technology needs to be overhauled, according to the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform. Sarah Brune is the group’s executive director. She says voting machines in some of the state’s election jurisdictions are as much as 15 years old. “Think about the computer you use every day; it’s not 15 years old, because it wouldn’t work if it was,” she said.Full Article: Old Voting Machines Could Pose New IL Election Problems | NPR Illinois.
Early voting for the primary election is supposed to start Thursday across Illinois, but millions of voters won’t have the option because of pending candidate challenges. The state’s four most-populous counties have delayed the start of in-person early voting, with Cook and DuPage waiting until as late as Feb. 21 in order to get final decisions on several candidate challenges. Lake County plans to start Feb. 16 and Will County election officials say they’ll keep voters updated on their website and hope to be ready within days of a decision. But elsewhere, particularly in smaller counties downstate, clerks proceeded Thursday, offering caveats to voters who want to cast ballots. The result could be confusion for voters.Full Article: Illinois early voting starts, but not for all - Fairfield Citizen.
Millions of voters in the Chicago area could see a nearly two-week delay in the start of early voting over ongoing candidate ballot challenges, election officials said Monday. Early voting was slated to start across Illinois on Thursday. However, due to objections to several candidates’ paperwork that haven’t been resolved, ballots won’t be ready on time, said Chicago Board of Election Commissioners spokesman Jim Allen. He estimated early voting will be available Feb. 21, possibly earlier. “Programming and testing of the equipment in the city’s more than 1,000 ballot variations in four languages is still under way,” Allen said in a statement.Full Article: Chicago area could see nearly 2-week delay of early voting - Fairfield Citizen.
Illinois: Kane County clerk says his office can handle Aurora elections for less money | Daily Herald
Kane County Clerk Jack Cunningham told officials Thursday he can run Aurora elections for less than half the cost per vote than residents pay now. But at least one county board member — an Aurora Democrat — still has concerns about the county’s ability to take on Aurora’s voting needs without sacrificing quality or busting the county’s budget. Aurora voters will see a question on the March ballot asking if they want to abolish the Aurora Election Commission. Aurora residents who live in Kane County pay taxes to the commission as well as taxes to the county to fund elections. They use the election commission only on voting day.Full Article: Kane clerk says his office can handle Aurora elections for less money.
Illinois will postpone submitting fresh voter information to a controversial multi-state voter registration database because the Kansas-based program has not offered updated security plans, election officials confirmed Tuesday. The move comes as several states debate ending their participation in the free and voluntary Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program. It was designed in 2005 as a way to help four neighboring states share information and clean voter rolls by making sure voters weren’t registered in more than one state. The program has grown to include about two dozen states, including Illinois, which began submitting information in 2011.Full Article: Illinois delays sending voter data to multi-state program | The Herald.
Illinois: State elections board says Kansas-based voter database not up to task | The Rock River Times
The Illinois State Board of Elections this week said it would not be sending voter data for entry into a Kansas-based registry supported by the Trump administration, citing security concerns. The Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program, designed by Kansas election officials, supposedly collects and parses information on voter rolls around the country. Driven by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a top figure in President Donald Trump’s recently disbanded “Voter Fraud Commission,” Crosscheck has come under fire for potentially exposing the personal data of more than 100 million voters. ISBE officials cited a lack of security measures in the Crosscheck system in declining to take part in the program. The board had originally indicated that it would begin sending data in January.Full Article: State elections board says Kansas-based voter database not up to task – The Rock River Times.