Ill. State Board of Elections and Department of Corrections work to correct data error

Ill. State Board of Elections and Department of Corrections work to correct data error
Seven-hundred-seventy-four former inmates were impacted by the error.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (KFVS) - The Illinois State Board of Elections and Department of Corrections are working to correct a data error.

Some Heartland counties are affected:

  • Franklin County - 2 cancellations
  • Jackson County - 3 cancellations
  • Jefferson County - 9 cancellations
  • Pulaski County - 1 cancellation
  • Saline County - 1 cancellation
  • Williamson County - 7 cancellations

The State Board of Elections notified 59 local election authorities that 774 former inmates of the Illinois Department of Corrections may have had their voter registrations mistakenly canceled due to an error in both agencies.

The error incorrectly categorized the individuals as currently incarcerated. When in fact, the individuals had completed their sentences and had been released. That information was then forwarded to the State Board of Elections.

The State Board of Elections worked with the IDOC to identify the affected individuals, whose records were among the more than 126,000 shared from 2014 to 2019.

Illinois law states that voting rights are suspended during an inmate’s period of incarceration but are restored upon release, though the individual must re-register to vote.

The Board of Elections has provided each election authority with voter information on the affected individuals so that their registrations can be reviewed for reinstatement by the start of early voting on Feb. 6.

The Board of Elections and IDOC say they are currently revising their data sharing agreement and matching parameters to avoid this error in future data exchanges.

Upon identifying the potential problem in November 2019, the Board ceased sharing IDOC matches with local election authorities and began the process of identifying individuals who may have been affected by the error.

Additionally, the State Board of Elections encourages all Illinois voters, including those who may have been on the list of incorrectly categorized former inmates of the Department of Corrections, to check their registration status using the board’s online Registration Lookup page.

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