Illinois Stops Sending Voter Data to Kobach-Run Program

by | January 16, 2018

By Rick Pearson

Illinois election officials have told state lawmakers that voter data won't be sent as scheduled to a controversial system aimed at flagging duplicate voter registrations across state lines.

The State Board of Elections' decision is the latest action prompted by concerns over Illinois' participation in the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program.

The program is run through the Kansas secretary of state's office headed by Kris Kobach. Kobach was head of the recently disbanded voter integrity task force formed by President Donald Trump.

In November, the eight-member state elections board split along partisan lines in rejecting a call to end Illinois' role in the program over questions about the security of voters' personal information.

Some Democratic lawmakers have proposed legislation to end the state's participation in the program, and more than a dozen of them asked the state board if recent talks delivered promised answers about tighter security procedures.

But in a letter sent last week to lawmakers by Steven Sandvoss, the board's executive director, no answers were forthcoming.

"In the December conference call, Crosscheck officials said they would provide us with proposed security enhancements for our review and would not receive data from any state until security enhancements were in place," Sandvoss wrote.

"As of this date, we have received no description of security enhancements from Crosscheck," he wrote. "We plan to review and discuss those proposed enhancements upon receipt and will transmit no data to Crosscheck until security issues are addressed to our satisfaction."

Illinois had been scheduled to transmit voter data Monday.