As the first month of a new year comes to an end, annual reports for the year 2019 continue to roll in for all kinds of things, as do continued reports from 2018. And in the state of Illinois, it was just released that in 2018 voter turnout was quite a bit higher than expected.
Typically, this could mean a rise in population or voter interest in some districts. But in this case, it seems that it was non-US citizens who influenced the numbers. Yes, illegal immigrants were somehow allowed to cast their votes in numerous ballots within the state in 2018.
State officials from Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White’s office admitted that their “motor voter” system erroneously registered a total of 574 non-citizens to be able to vote in 2018. And while not all of these people actually did vote, some did.
The Free Beacon reported, “A watchdog group has requested records from the Illinois State Board of Elections after 574 noncitizens were added to its voter rolls, allowing some of them to vote illegally in the 2018 midterm elections.”
The group, an election integrity law firm known as Public Interest Legal Foundation or PILF, has ascertained that the illegal voters were added onto voting rolls in a glitch of the state’s automatic voter registration system.
The automatic voter registration (AVR) is a law that about 20 states use to streamline their voting records and make it easier for citizens to vote. This happens when an individual goes to state agencies such as the DMV to get a driver’s license or state identification. As they are going through the application or process involved, the system is designed to send individuals who meet state and federal voting requirements, such as being a US citizen and 18 years or older, to election officials for registration.
However, many states, including Illinois, now allow non-US citizens to obtain a driver’s license and/or a state ID. So when these individuals go to the DMV, the process is much the same, except that it’s supposed to catch those that are not, in fact, citizens and, therefore, not allow them to register as a voter.
But as these new records show, the system made quite a few mistakes. Of the 574 who were sent to election officials, 545 were actually registered.
A spokesman for White’s office, Dave Druker said, “It was a computer error. We moved to correct it and contacted the people involved.”
And State Board of Elections spokesman Matt Dietrich says that over 150 of those registrations have already been canceled, while work continues to determine just how many registrations were valid if any.
But it may already be too late.
Of those who were registered, some actually did vote. So far, it has been reported that 15 illegal voters were allowed to cast a total of 19 ballots in elections around the state.
Now you may say that 15 people isn’t a lot. And to be sure it isn’t. But that is only the known amount, those who actually admitted that they had done so. How many do you think could have and lied about it? After all, if illegal immigrants are caught, they could be deported.
And this isn’t the first time something similar has happened in Illinois and other states that have adopted the AVR system. Problems have also occurred in Texas, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, just to name a few.
Furthermore, it seems voter fraud might be a much more significant issue than we thought.
According to a 2013 National Hispanic Survey study by Republican pollster John McLaughlin, about 13 percent of registered voters asked said they were not American citizens.
Now, if we assume that this is even remotely accurate, that means with a national illegal immigrant population somewhere around 22 million, as many as 2.9 million non-citizens could be voting nationwide every year. That’s a little scary if you ask me.
And that is precisely why Republicans and lawmakers nationwide should be pushing for legislative hearings on the issue. After all, American elections should be decided by Americans, not those who only live here temporarily.
Implementation of stricter voter ID requirements for all elections and compliance with the Real ID Act are excellent places to start. It’s clear that merely allowing voters to check a box claiming their citizenship is not working, especially since this is rarely verified and few violators are prosecuted.
Illinois’ mistake might be just that, but you can be sure it’s not the only one out there.