Illinois delays sending voter data to multi-state database run by Kansas
Chicago ? Illinois will postpone submitting fresh voter information to a controversial multi-state voter registration database because the Kansas-based program has not offered updated security plans, election officials confirmed Tuesday.
The move comes as several states debate ending their participation in the free and voluntary Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program.
It was designed in 2005 as a way to help four neighboring states share information and clean voter rolls by making sure voters weren’t registered in more than one state. The program has grown to include about two dozen states, including Illinois, which began submitting information in 2011.
But questions have been raised in Illinois and elsewhere about the security of passwords, accuracy of the information and the political leanings of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who oversees Crosscheck and helped lead President Donald Trump’s now-disbanded election fraud commission. It was investigating unproven claims of illegal voting in 2016.
Kansas vowed late last year to review the program’s security in the wake of scrutiny. Kansas officials didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment Tuesday. They’ve previously said it’s a free service that offers hard-to-compile information and states are briefed on potential data issues.
Officials in Illinois, which typically submits data to Crosscheck in January, said they were yet to receive any new guidance.
“We plan to review and discuss those proposed enhancements upon receipt and we will transmit no data to Crosscheck until security issues are addressed to our satisfaction,” Illinois State Board of Elections executive director Steve Sandvoss wrote in a letter sent to lawmakers last week, which election officials confirmed Tuesday.
After questions were raised by voter rights advocates and Democrats, Illinois election officials considered the issue, but voted in November to remain in Crosscheck. They were split 4-4 on party lines.
That prompted Democratic lawmakers to file legislation requiring Illinois to quit, which a handful of states have done over the years.
Other states are also considering leaving the program. A New Hampshire Democrat has proposed legislation to end multi-state voter information sharing, and Idaho election officials have also considered leaving Crosscheck.