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Rauner Vetoes Voter Identification Legislation

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner on Tuesday vetoed legislation that would have gotten the state out of the controversial Crosscheck voter identification program.

The Interstate Crosscheck System is meant to identify voters who are double registered.

But an analysis by academics at Stanford, Harvard and Microsoft found one Crosscheck purging strategy would eliminate 300 legitimate voters for every one double voter.

Democrats say the system disenfranchises people — especially minorities. They passed legislation that would have forbid Illinois from participating.

Gov. Rauner vetoed it, saying in his message to the General Assembly that Illinois has safeguards against people being wrongly purged. And he says with same-day registration, voters can correct an error all the way through election day.

Rauner was asked about the legislation at an unrelated news conference that took place before his veto.

“I believe it’s good and worthwhile for Illinois to be part of the Crosscheck system,” Rauner said.

He also dismissed security concerns: “I think that’s not true, and I think that’s more politically motivated,” Rauner said.

Despite the back and forth, Illinois’ participation in Crosscheck is on hold anyway. The State Board of Elections raised security concerns, and a spokesman says they're still waiting for a response.

Brian Mackey formerly reported on state government and politics for NPR Illinois and a dozen other public radio stations across the state. Before that, he was A&E editor at The State Journal-Register and Statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.