Activists sue over Illinois' automatic voter registration

 
 
Updated 3/1/2020 5:47 PM

CHICAGO -- Advocacy groups have sued the Illinois secretary of state's office and election officials over the state's problem-plagued automatic voter registration system.

The federal lawsuit, filed Friday, alleged multiple violations of state and federal voter laws in a delayed automatic registration rollout, including a lack of access for limited English speakers and failing to update voter rolls when people moved.

 

The lawsuit comes after multiple other issues with automatic voter registration, which became law in 2017. The problems included mistakenly registering non-U.S. citizens. At least one voted, a violation that could lead to criminal charges, deportation or both.

'œUnfortunately, the promise of voter modernization and inclusivity has not only gone unfulfilled, it now appears that even basic voter registration services are mishandled in disregard of repeated calls for transparency and accountability by non-partisan organizations in the state," according to the lawsuit.

The groups seek court oversight.

They include Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Common Cause Illinois and the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. They alleged Secretary of State Jesse White's office ignored repeated calls for transparency and offers of help.

White's spokesman Dave Druker declined comment Sunday, saying the office hadn't been served with the lawsuit. White has said the computer error related to noncitizens being registered was fixed. His office has said that automatic voter registration has led to the successful registrations of over 700,000 people.

The lawsuit also named the State Board of Elections. A spokesman declined comment Friday. He didn't immediately return a message seeking comment Sunday.

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