Illinois accidentally cancels voter registrations for almost 800 former inmates

The error involves those who have completed their sentences, were discharged and had re-registered


The State Board of Elections in Illinois confirmed this week that it somehow accidentally canceled the voter registrations of almost 800 former inmates.

According to CBS News, the state of Illinois routinely suspends the voting rights of inmates while incarcerated but is supposed to restore them once they’ve regained their freedom. However, 774 former inmates remained canceled due to a “data-matching error” between state agencies that mislabeled them as currently incarcerated.

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Election officials said they first discovered in November that people who had completed their sentences and had reregistered weren’t properly accounted for. They conceded not knowing the extent of the issue until recently.

“The Board of Elections and Department of Corrections are committed to ensuring this does not happen again,” the board said in a statement Monday.

The Illinois Department of Corrections also said in a statement that it “supports the civic engagement of returning citizens” and has plans to provide everyone released from their custody with a voter registration application moving forward.

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Although those affected may still be able to vote due to the state adopting same-day registration back in 2014, this is far from the only hiccup that has occurred with its election process as of late.

CBS notes that there have also been, “multiple unrelated issues with the state’s new automatic voter registration, including registering people who opted out and mistakenly registering over 500 people who identified themselves as non-citizens, some of whom voted.”

Just last week the elections board also admitted that approximately 4,700 16-year-olds who had applied for licenses erroneously appeared on a list of voter registration applications forwarded by the secretary of state’s office through the AVP program, even though you have to be at least 17-year-olds to register and vote in primary elections (but only if they turn 18 by the time of the general election).

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