Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White has has blamed a “programming error” following the revelation that over 500 non-U.S. citizens were registered to vote in the 2018 election and may have participated in elections throughout the state.
“While this represents only 1/10 of one percent, it is still not acceptable and we apologize for the error,”White said in a statement obtained by The Hill. “On the same day the programming error was confirmed, it was fixed and won’t happen again.
“We quickly notified the Illinois State Board of Elections along with the 574 people impacted – all of whom are in the country legally,” he added.
White claimed that the errors have been fixed and the problem is no more in his letter, but election authorities and state officials are still worried about the integrity of the elections. State Republicans are calling for an immediate investigation into the problem to make sure that such a mistake does not happen again.
“Republican state lawmakers join U.S. Congressman Rodney Davis to address integrity of Illinois elections given recent news that more than 500 non-citizens registered to vote under auto-voter registration system,” a tweet from the Illinois state GOP reads.
The “Automatic Voter Registration” bill was signed into law by former Illinois governor Bruce Rauner in 2017, which automatically registers Illinois residents to vote when they receive or renew their driver’s license or ID. While this law may have been well-intentioned, it has seemingly opened the door for non-citizens to participate in elections.
“For whatever reason that technological programming error did not properly remove the individuals,”White said in his letter. “The individuals who are applying for driver’s license were inadvertently pooled into the automatic voter registration.”
The Secretary of State’s office is largely downplaying the error and claiming that further investigations are not necessary.
“We discovered an error, and we fixed it. And then we notified the State Board of Elections and the local election authorities and the individuals that were impacted,” the office said in the statement.
“Even though, in the grand scheme of our election registration numbers and the voting numbers, the figures that we’re looking at are very small,” said Matt Dietrich of the Illinois State Board of Elections. “This issue is significant in terms of we want to make sure there is complete integrity with our automatic voter registration system.”
State Republicans are not willing to let the issue die, fearing that electoral fraud issues may impact races during this year’s important general elections in November.
“I don’t have a lot of confidence in the Secretary of State’s Office right now,” said Illinois State Representative Tim Butler from Springfield.
“He may or may not have known about this, I have no idea. But he needs to be held responsible for it; it’s his operation that allowed this to happen,” he said – demanding for a full investigation into White and his possible complicity in the fraud.
“It simply is inexcusable that non-citizens voted in Illinois and potentially affected the outcome of elections across the state. Those in the Secretary of State’s Office who allowed this to happen should be terminated from their employment with the State,” the state GOP chairman said in a statement.
This may just be the beginning of unprecedented electoral chicanery from Democrats as they grow more desperate to win in the age of President Donald Trump.