AP NEWS

GOP wants audit as automatic registration problems continue

March 11, 2020 GMT

CHICAGO (AP) — Republicans renewed calls Wednesday to suspend Illinois’ automatic voter registration program as state officials disclosed continued problems affecting more than 1,000 people who applied for REAL ID’s.

The registrants should’ve been automatically registered but were wrongly categorized has having opted out. The issue first came up at a State Board of Elections meeting in January with a single voter, but has since affected 1,151 people who applied for the ID’s at secretary of state’s offices, according to a Monday notice sent to local election authorities.

Secretary of State Jesse White’s office said the extent of the problem was discovered when reviewing records and attributed it to conflicting information on applications. The office notified election officials Friday. The affected individuals have been registered and can vote in Tuesday’s primary, according to election officials.

Signed in 2017 with bipartisan support, the program faced numerous problems, including delays and wrongly registering hundreds of people who said they weren’t U.S. citizens. At least one noncitizen voted, which violates state and federal laws. The law also faces a lawsuit.

“Automatic voter registration is a complete mess,” said state Rep. Tim Butler, a Springfield Republican. “We’ve been assured for over two months that the problems have been fixed, yet problems continue to come up.”

He’s filed legislation for an independent audit.

Democrats who run the state have said there are no plans to pause the program.

“Obviously, we’ll be monitoring it very closely,” White’s spokesman Dave Druker told the Chicago Tribune. “We did catch it, which is good.”