AP NEWS

Illinois officials: 1 noncitizen voted in registration error

February 5, 2020 GMT

CHICAGO (AP) — At least one non-U.S. citizen voted after an error in Illinois’ automatic voter registration system mistakenly registered hundreds of people who said they weren’t U.S. citizens, secretary of state officials said Wednesday.

The new information emerged at a state Capitol hearing which Republicans wanted after the mistakes were publicly acknowledged last month. Immigrant rights activists have been concerned about the unintended consequence for noncitizens, including deportation.

“I’m angry about what happened. I put my staff on notice,” White said at the hearing. “Zero tolerance will be the order of the day in the secretary of state’s office going forward.”

Secretary of state officials said they’d work to protect immigrants, including fighting possible subpoenas.

Election officials have been trying to determine how many of the 545 who were registered voted illegally. On Wednesday State Board of Election officials revised their previous count, saying 16 people linked to the mistaken registrations had voted instead of 15. Nine are thought to be U.S. citizens, leaving six in question.

The registrations date back to 2018.

Republicans have called to suspend the program, demanding more accountability. Government watchdog groups have said the mistake undermines automatic voter registration, which became state law in 2017.

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