Washington County disputes voter roll allegations
Washington County is “NOT in violation” of Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act, County Clerk Nancy Heseman told the SE Illinois News in an email recently.
Heseman was responding to allegations by a Washington-based conservative group known as Judicial Watch, which sent a letter to Illinois accusing 24 counties of being in violation off election laws.
The Illinois State Board of Elections has since filed a response to Tom Fitton, Judicial Watch president, saying the group was wrong.
“Since the advent of the statewide voter database in Illinois, the SBE has continuously monitored voter registration levels in various jurisdictions,” the letter said. “You are either working from bad data, or are misunderstanding the data you have.”
Heseman said Washington County will conduct a purge of its voter rolls this summer to update all voter registration information, as required by the Illinois State Board of Elections.
Purges help to keep voter registrations accurate because they allow the removal of voters who are ineligible because they've moved, died, or for other reasons, Myrna Pérez of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law wrote in her book Voter Purges.
In Illinois, the elections board requires counties to purge during the summer of odd-numbered years to avoid busy times in the spring and fall.
Judicial Watch said it had found erroneous records in 11 states. It warned states to fix the issues within 90 days.
“These 11 states face possible Judicial Watch lawsuits unless they follow the law and take reasonable steps to clean up their voting rolls of dead, moved, and non-citizen voters,” Fitton said. “Dirty election rolls can mean dirty elections.”
Besides Illinois, the group identified problematic voter rolls in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina and Tennessee.
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