Residents of Aurora will decide March 20 whether county clerks will take over running their elections. Kane County Judge David Akemann ruled Tuesday there were enough signatures on petitions to put a question on the ballot, and that the primary election was suitable for the vote. Objectors Alex Arroyo and Gordon Leach had argued petitioners didn’t collect enough good signatures. They needed signatures from 1,000 registered voters in the part of Aurora subject to the Aurora Election Commission. Petition-passers collected more than 1,540 signatures. The objectors said only 974 were valid. They said more than 300 were invalid because they didn’t match signatures on voter registrations; 39 were invalid because the names were printed, not written in cursive lettering; more than 130 signers were not registered voters; and 93 didn’t count because they lived outside the jurisdiction.Full Article: Judge: Referendum on Aurora election law can go on March ballot.
Articles about voting issues in Illinois.
Illinois: Two sides face off over Aurora Election Commission ballot question | Kendall County Record
The Aurora Election Commission attempted to preserve itself by trying to stop a referendum on its dissolution from being placed on the March 20 ballot in Aurora. The commission oversees voting in 73 precincts throughout Aurora, which takes in sections of Kane, Kendall, Will and DuPage counties. A large portion of School District 308 is located in Aurora and under the comission’s jurisdiction. In a hearing before Kane County Court Judge David Akemann on Jan. 4, commission attorney Patrick Bond argued that the petitioners did not choose the right election, as per state election law.Full Article: Two sides face off over Aurora Election Commission ballot question | Kendall County Record.
Illinois: Judge will rule next week on whether motion to eliminate Aurora Election Commission can go on ballot | Aurora Beacon-News
A 16th Circuit Court judge said Friday he will hear the final arguments Jan. 9 about whether or not a referendum question asking to abolish the Aurora Election Commission can be on the March primary ballot. Judge David Akemann said the court will hear arguments, and likely make a decision, beginning at 10 a.m. Jan. 9 in room 320 of the old Kane County Courthouse, 100 S. Third St., Geneva. Akemann said state law gives him seven days from the first hearing, which was Thursday, by which to make a decision. That would put the final day Jan. 11, and Akemann said “the court’s going to keep to that schedule.” “We only have a very short window of time,” he said.Full Article: Judge will rule next week on whether motion to eliminate Aurora Election Commission can go on ballot - Aurora Beacon-News.
Proponents and opponents of a referendum seeking to eliminate the AuroraElection Commission were able to agree on one thing during a court hearing Thursday — the situation is unique. The hearing of objections to the referendum is being heard in 16th Circuit Court in Geneva, before Judge David Akemann, because it cannot be heard by the body that would normally hear nominating petition objections, the Aurora Election Commission. State election law set up a hearing before a circuit court judge on the idea that the Election Commission might be biased toward a referendum seeking its elimination. A citizens group submitted about 1,500 signatures — it needed only 1,000 — asking that the referendum be put on the March 20 primary election ballot.Full Article: Judge hears arguments about Aurora Election Commission referendum - Aurora Beacon-News.
Illinois: Automatic voter registration law doesn’t allocate money for implementation | Illinois News Network
Automatically registering voters anytime they register with certain state government agencies was considered a major legislative priority by some at the statehouse, but lawmakers haven’t put the necessary tax dollars behind it to get it started. As it is right now, Illinois residents can opt in to registering to vote when they get or update information for a state ID card or driver’s license. Lawmakers pushed to make that automatic and to include more state agencies. Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed the original automatic voter registration bill in 2016 with suggested changes he said made the bill better. Lawmakers followed his lead in 2017 and passed automatic voter registration.Full Article: Automatic voter registration law doesn’t allocate money for implementation | State Politics | ilnews.org.
DuPage County voters soon will weigh in on a proposal to disband the county election commission and return its responsibilities to the clerk’s office. County board members on Tuesday agreed to put an advisory referendum question about the issue on the March primary ballot. The decision comes after state lawmakers failed to act on legislation to merge the commission with the county clerk’s office and create a new panel to provide bipartisan oversight of elections. “Let’s just go to a full-fledged consolidation,” county board Chairman Dan Cronin said after the vote. “Fold it into the clerk’s office.” Election oversight power was stripped from the clerk’s office in the early 1970s to create the election commission. Cronin said he’s hoping DuPage voters overwhelmingly support the nonbinding ballot question to dissolve the commission.Full Article: DuPage voters to decide if election commission should be dissolved.
A lawsuit challenging the way Chicago’s elections board audits election results has been shredded by a federal judge. The complaint, filed in the U.S. District for the Northern District of Illinois, was brought by several election monitors. It claimed the methods used by the Chicago Board of Elections (BOE) to audit the 2016 state primary elections violated their right to vote as well as their right to association and to petition the government. They sought declaratory and injunctive relief. The plaintiffs took particular issue with the so-called “5 percent test” used in the audit. The 5 percent test refers to the sample size of voting machines included in the post-election audit analysis. The Board of Elections argued the audit had no effect on election outcomes, so it could not have violated voting rights or rights to association or to petition the government. U.S. District Judge John Robert Blakey agreed.Full Article: Lawsuit challenging Chicago election audit loses in landslide | Cook County Record.
Illinois’ most populous county has a plan to keep hackers out, after the state’s voter registration list was breached during last year’s presidential race. There’s one big sticking point: the money. The director of elections for Illinois’ Cook County and a group including Ambassador Douglas Lute will present a strategy to bolster U.S. election systems’ defenses against foreign intruders on Thursday. That roadmap comes with a request for the federal government to fund their plan, underlining a hurdle for many municipalities as they head into the 2018 midterm and 2020 presidential elections. While last year’s general election made clear the voting system was vulnerable to hackers, and the federal government has instructed the nation’s 9,000 election officials to make their voting rolls safer, many municipalities lack funding to make these changes.Full Article: Election hacking: fears are running high about the next White House race.
Democratic state lawmakers are introducing a plan to halt Illinois’ participation in a controversial multi-state voter registration database. It’s the latest move after efforts to persuade the State Board of Elections failed. The plan unveiled Thursday would remove Illinois from the Kansas-run Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program. Voter groups argue Crosscheck isn’t secure and could lead to voter suppression elsewhere. They also raise questions about Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who oversees Crosscheck and is a chairman of President Donald Trump’s election fraud commission.
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.Full Article: Divided vote keeps Illinois in Crosscheck voter database - Chicago Tribune.
Democrats on a legislative panel Wednesday urged state elections officials to quickly remove Illinois from a controversial interstate voter registration program amid warnings it is unreliable and vulnerable to hacking, threatening to act on their own if they don’t. “For months now it has been very obvious that millions of Illinoisans’ personal data is at risk because of our participation in this program,” state Rep. Will Guzzardi, D-Chicago, said at a joint state House and Senate committee hearing on the topic. “As soon as possible, the (State Board of Elections) should say the logical thing, which is, ‘We cannot participate in this program because it is putting Illinois at risk.’ ” Illinois is among a number of states evaluating participation in the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program, conducted through the Kansas secretary of state’s office that is aimed at flagging duplicate voter registrations across state lines.Full Article: Democratic lawmakers urge end to controversial cross-state voter check - Chicago Tribune.
Federal election law requires states to keep accurate and up-to-date voter registration rolls. But one tool to help them do so is at the center of a partisan debate. In Illinois, many Democrats are calling on the state Board of Elections to stop participation in the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program, or Crosscheck, for short. Illinois is one of about 28 states that share voter registration data with Crosscheck, which uses it to look for voters who are registered at more than one address.Full Article: Debate Over Crosscheck Voter Data Program Reaches Into Illinois | WNIJ and WNIU.
Kane County Clerk John Cunningham said Monday he is looking at ways to handle Aurora elections if a referendum concerning the elimination of the Aurora Election Commission passes. Still, Cunningham was adamant in saying that even though he is an Aurora resident, he does not have a public opinion either way. “It’s not up to the county clerk to be involved in this,” he said. “It’s up to the people.” Cunningham said with a movement afoot to put a referendum question on the March 2018 ballot asking voters to eliminate the election commission, he needs to look at what might happen if voters approve it. An informal group of residents has been passing petitions seeking about 1,000 signatures they would need to put the question on the ballot. If they succeed, state statute mandates that Aurora voters be asked the question: “Shall the city election law be rejected?”Full Article: Kane clerk looks at ways to handle Aurora elections - Aurora Beacon-News.
The Aurora City Council has backed an effort to put a referendum on the March 18 primary ballot asking voters if they want to eliminate the Aurora Election Commission. The 9-3 vote by aldermen this week came after a debate about what authority the city has, the legality of the city’s resolution and just what is or is not voter suppression. In the end, those aldermen supporting the resolution said it simply endorses putting the question on the ballot, giving the voters a chance to vote for or against, without telling them how to vote. “We urge that the voters be able to put the question on the ballot,” said Ald. Robert O’Connor, at large. “The law provided that the voters establish (the commission), and the law provides that the voters must change it, if they want to change it.”Full Article: Aurora City Council backs Election Commission referendum - Aurora Beacon-News.
Illinois: ‘Embarrassing’ Voter Data Leak Will Never Happen Again, Chicago Election Chief Says | DNAinfo
The head of the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners Tuesday apologized to aldermen for allowing the personal information of 1.8 million Chicago registered voters to be exposed on a public server. Executive Director Lance Gough said the Aug. 12 discovery that Election Systems & Software discovered backup files stored on a Amazon Web Services server that included voter names, addresses, and dates of birth. In many cases it also included the voters’ driver’s license and state identification numbers and the last four digits of Social Security numbers. “It was quite embarrassing,” Gough said. “I’m here to apologize. This will never happen again.”Full Article: 'Embarrassing' Voter Data Leak Will Never Happen Again, Election Chief Says - Downtown - Chicago - DNAinfo.
Voter rights advocates are pushing Illinois election officials to withdraw from a longtime multistate voter registration database over questions of accuracy, security and voter suppression.
The Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program is aimed at cleaning voter records and preventing voter fraud. States voluntarily provide their voter lists, and the program searches for duplicates.
While a few states have quietly exited over data quality concerns, advocates in Democrat-leaning Illinois are taking it a step further with fresh claims about lax security, discrimination against minorities and questions about the role of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a contentious Republican who oversees the program and is vice chairman of President Donald Trump’s election fraud commission.
Groups including the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois and the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights oppose it and advocates packed a recent State Board of Elections meeting after sending letters demanding Illinois end its cooperation. Now, more than two dozen state lawmakers also want Illinois to withdraw. Their push comes as Trump’s commission is asking states for voter information while it investigates Trump’s unsubstantiated claims that millions of people voted illegally in 2016.
“Crosscheck is being used as a political tool to help Republicans win elections,” said state Rep. Will Guzzardi, a Chicago Democrat. “This has gone much too far.”
Kobach, who declined an interview, has defended the database. He’s championed tough voter identification laws that critics claim suppress minority voters and helped draft proposals in numerous states aimed at cracking down on illegal immigration. His views have been more heavily scrutinized since he was tapped for Trump’s commission.
Past studies have shown voter fraud is exceedingly rare. Although voting in multiple places is illegal, being registered to vote in more than one state isn’t. And that can happen when people move from one jurisdiction to another.
The origins of Crosscheck date to 2005, before Kobach was Kansas’ chief election official. It started with Kansas, Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska sharing information. Illinois joined in 2010. This year, 28 states participated. Four states have left Crosscheck: Florida, Washington, Oregon and Pennsylvania.
Full Article: Voter advocates push Illinois to exit multistate database.Full Article: Voter advocates push Illinois to exit multistate database.
Illinois: Sen. Michael E. Hastings works to make sure Illinois meets challenges of the 21st century | Chicago Tribune
State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park) is proud to announce the state of Illinois will be observing National Cybersecurity Awareness Month throughout October. “National Cybersecurity Awareness Month is a good opportunity for Illinois residents to educate themselves on new laws and scams to protect their personal information,” Hastings said. “There are a number of resources available and new laws that will help us meet the technological challenges of the 21st century.” … The 2016 presidential elections were plagued with nationwide security breaches to 21 states’ online voting systems, including Illinois’ voter registration database. Last week, Hastings announced. Homeland Security confirmed Russian hackers were behind the breach.Full Article: Sen. Michael E. Hastings works to make sure Illinois meets challenges of the 21st century - Daily Southtown.
Illinois: Automatic voter registration bill signed into law; Cook clerk says will enable cleanup of voter rolls | Cook County Record
When Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a bill on Aug. 28 to automatically register Illinois residents to vote, the man in charge of the office that oversees elections in suburban Cook County said the signature was the final piece in a long sought tool to “clean up” voter rolls in the county and elsewhere. Illinois’ automatic voter registration (AVR) “makes our voter rolls cleaner and more inclusive, streamlines the process of voter registration, cuts costs associated with paper-based voter registration and is a natural registration fraud fighter,” Cook County Clerk David Orr said in a statement. The AVR bill passed both the Senate and House in May. Illinois is the 10th state, plus Washington, D.C., to approve AVR.Full Article: Illinois automatic voter registration bill signed into law; Cook clerk says will enable cleanup of voter rolls | Cook County Record.
Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a measure Monday allowing automatic voter registration in Illinois, a move that comes a year after he rejected a similar measure over concerns about voter fraud. Illinois joins more than half a dozen other states with some form of automatic voter registration, which proponents say boosts civic participation. “This is good bipartisan legislation and it addresses the fundamental fact that the right to vote is foundational for the rights of Americans in our Democracy,” Rauner said at a Chicago bill signing ceremony attended by supporters. “We as a people need to do everything we can to knock down barriers, remove hurdles for all those who are eligible to vote, to be able to vote.”Full Article: Illinois Governor Signs Automatic Voter Registration Law | WBEZ.
The State Board of Elections put off a decision Tuesday on the latest request for Illinois voter information made by a panel formed by President Donald Trump to look into his claims of voting irregularities in last year’s presidential election. Instead, the board is sending a letter requesting more information about the purpose of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. Illinois officials also want to know whether any information provided truly could be kept confidential, as the federal panel pledged and as Illinois law requires. The privacy issue is a critical one for state election officials. In early July, the bipartisan elections board rejected an initial appeal for “publicly available” voter data by the federal panel because, under Illinois law, it had no such information available that could be publicly disclosed.Full Article: State officials put off decision on Trump panels request for voter data - Chicago Tribune.