State Senator Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorn Woods) says the recent error within the Secretary of State’s automatic voter registration program that allowed non-citizens the ability to vote comes as no surprise.
Back in 2016, when the measure to allow for automatic registration was making its way through the General Assembly, McConchie was outspoken about the potential problems it could cause, specifically mentioning that it could lead to non-citizens believing they are legally allowed to vote. In a 2016 press release, McConchie stated:
“Under this proposal, non-citizens will be automatically registered to vote and then perhaps later removed from the rolls. If a non-citizen is registered and the state fails to remove that person in a timely fashion, they will get a voter card in the mail and likely believe they can legally vote. And if they do vote, they will be committing a felony.”
Following this week’s discovery of the nearly 600 non-citizens being automatically registered to vote in Illinois and over a dozen of them casting ballots in the last election, McConchie said issues like this is what he was warning about.
“Unfortunately, the automatic voter registration program was implemented knowing that problems like this could exist,” said McConchie. “An error like this has the potential to affect the outcome of elections. It’s not at all uncommon for elections at the local level to be decided by just one or two votes, so the fact that 16 non-citizens voted in the last election is extremely troublesome. What’s even more concerning is that these non-citizens, even those here legally, potentially voted without even knowing that they were committing a crime and could be deported because of it.”
Sen. McConchie said this issue must be investigated and has joined colleagues in demanding answers, accountability, and assurance from the Secretary of State’s Office that this error will not happen again.