Activists sue over Illinois’ automatic voter registration

Advocacy groups have sued the Illinois secretary of state’s office and election officials over the state’s problem-plagued automatic voter registration system.

The federal lawsuit, filed Friday, alleged multiple violations of state and federal voter laws in a delayed automatic registration rollout, including a lack of access for limited English speakers and failing to update voter rolls when people moved.

The lawsuit comes after multiple other issues with automatic voter registration, which became law in 2017. The problems included mistakenly registering non-U.S. citizens. At least one voted, a violation that could lead to criminal charges, deportation or both.

“Unfortunately, the promise of voter modernization and inclusivity has not only gone unfulfilled, it now appears that even basic voter registration services are mishandled in disregard of repeated calls for transparency and accountability by non-partisan organizations in the state,” according to the lawsuit.

The groups seek court oversight.

They include Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Common Cause Illinois and the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. They alleged Secretary of State Jesse White’s office ignored repeated calls for transparency and offers of help.

The lawsuit also named the State Board of Elections. Spokesmen for the board and White declined comment Friday. They didn’t return messages Sunday.

White has said the error related to noncitizens were addressed.