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Friday, February 28, 2020

GOP lawmakers seek to suspend automatic voter registration until glitch is addressed

State Government

By Kyla Asbury | Jan 23, 2020

Vote 11

Illinois state Senate and House Republicans gathered at a press conference on Wednesday to discuss concerns with the state's automatic voter registration (AVR) program.

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville) said the glitch that caused more than 500 non-citizens to be registered to vote in 2018 was deeply concerning at the federal level.

"I'm not an opponent of automatic voter registration," Davis said. "But this needs to be ready before it rolls out."

U.S. Rep. Rodney L. Davis (R-Taylorville)

Illinois state Rep. Tim Butler (R-Springfield) said this is a critical time in the voting cycle. 

"Early voting is two weeks away," Butler said. "This is a large issue and this is a self-inflicted issue. We’ve done this to ourselves. A path forward on this would mean a House Executive Committee hearing immediately. We also need an independent audit. I think we need to learn more about the discussions between the State Bard of Elections and Secretary of State."

State Rep. Avery Bourne (R-Farmersville) said the program needs to be suspended until things are straightened out. 

"Until we know that this is being implemented correctly, we need to suspend AVR and get the answers that Rep. Butler has called on in a committee hearing — and to make sure that, especially with the upcoming election season, that this is happening appropriately," Bourne said. 

State Rep. C.D. Davidsmeyer (R-Jacksonville) said he wanted to clarify that suspending the program was not taking away voting rights.

"People could still register to vote," Davidsmeyer said. "This does not take away voting rights. We want to make sure everyone who is legally allowed to vote has access to a polling place. We want to get rid of any malfeasance, if there is any."

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