Illinois Cancels Voter Registrations for Almost 800 Former Inmates

Illustration for article titled Illinois Cancels Voter Registrations for Almost 800 Former Inmates
Photo: Frederic J Brown (AFP via Getty Images)

Faith in the American voting process has grown shaky in recent years. With GOP-led states trying their damnedest to suppress the vote, the current president having no problem with Russia hacking our voting systems and the Iowa caucus just being a massive failure, it makes sense. Unfortunately, tonight’s news will probably not help.


CBS News reports that the State Board of Elections in Illinois has revealed that it accidentally canceled the voter registrations of 774 former inmates. The state of Illinois suspends the voting rights of inmates while incarcerated but restores them once they’re freed. According to the State Board, the cancellation was a result of state agencies labeling the former inmates as currently incarcerated. Luckily, due to the state adopting same-day registration, those affected could still vote.

This was not the only error that came as a result of the state’s new automated voter registration system. The board reported that people who opted out wound up being registered anyway and that 500 non-citizens were registered. Some of those 500 non-citizens actually voted.

This, folks, is what we call a hot mess. It’s one thing to cancel the registration of the former inmates. It’s one thing to register people opted out. To register 500 non-citizens is a bit of a red flag. Mainly because we have a whole ass party who uses the excuse of “WELL WHAT IF ILLEGALS VOTE?!” as the basis for disenfranchising entire swaths of the voting public. Mistakes like these just give them ammo.

We’re in an election year and the stakes are incredibly high. We simply cannot afford mistakes like this being made. If the new systems being employed aren’t up to snuff, then bust out the paper ballots. It’s not progress if the new thing is just making the process worse.

The stylin', profilin', limousine riding, jet flying, wheelin' and dealin' nerd of The Root.