Lawmaker wants dead people removed from voter rolls

Lawmaker wants dead people removed from voter rolls

ILLINOIS (IRN) — Some Illinois lawmakers are crying foul after several Illinoisans tried to receive 2020 election ballots by returning applications that were mailed to deceased people in DuPage County.

Representative Mark Batinick of Plainfield is joining other GOP lawmakers in calling for the passage of a bill that would require county clerks to take the deceased off the voter rolls. State Reps. Amy Grant, Deanne Mazzochi and Grant Wehrli also are calling for the change.

“You would think that it would be obvious that you would remove people from the voter rolls that have passed away, but it is not something that is being done,” said Batinick.

Batinick said he knew of nine people who tried to receive 2020 election ballots by returning applications that were mailed to deceased people in DuPage County.

“Of those nine, they’ve determined that six do not merit criminal charges and the other three are still in investigation,” said chief deputy County Clerk Adam Johnson. “It is a small number, but we take every single application seriously because that is how voters know that the process is safe and secure.”

Batinick points to vote by mail expansion legislation which was passed last spring and signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker at a cost of millions of dollars. Mail-in ballot applications were sent to an estimated five million voters who voted in 2018, 2019, and 2020. The law also authorized the Secretary of State’s Office to mail follow-up reminders to those who had not returned their application. The cost to mail out the reminders was nearly $2 million, according to Illinois Policy.

The change in voting law and practices has made Illinois one of the easiest states in the country to vote, according to a recent study. Northern Illinois University professor Scot Schraufnagel’s study found that Illinois has moved up in the rankings. Because of automatic voter registration, the state ranks fourth on the ease of voting index.

Batinick said the integrity of our elections is of paramount importance and he hopes to see lawmakers take up the measure during the November veto session.

“I applaud the DuPage County Clerk’s office for catching the fraudulent ballot requests, but if it’s happening in DuPage, it’s likely it is happening elsewhere,” he said.

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