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Watchdog: Nearly 800,000 inactive registrants in Illinois voter rolls

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(The Center Square) – Forthcoming research from nonprofit conservative watchdog Judicial Watch indicates Illinois has close to 800,000 inactive registered voters.

Judicial Watch announced Friday a federal judge ordered the Illinois State Board of Elections to turn over voter roll data to the Illinois Conservative Union and three registered voters. The state had allowed review in person in Springfield during limited hours, but that was 200 miles from where the plaintiffs live.

Friday’s ruling means plaintiffs will get access to digital copies of voter rolls for the past 15 elections to include “registrant’s full name … residential street address … email address … telephone number, county and state voter identification number, age of the registrant, and the registrant’s status (active or inactive) and the most recent date the entry was changed.”

“Clean voter rolls mean cleaner elections,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said. “This is a victory for all legal voters in Illinois. Voters will now have the transparency that federal law requires in order to ensure elections in Illinois are more honest and cleaner.”

Judicial Watch also announced forthcoming research it plans to release based on recent census data and information Illinois reported to the federal Election Assistance Commission that shows 14% of Illinois’ counties have more registered voters than citizens over 18, indicating the state has close to 800,000 inactive registrants.

“Those are staggering numbers and the very reason why we need the openness and transparency in an effort to clean up these voter rolls, again, just another step to try and restore faith in the system, in the election system, for the voters of Illinois,” state Rep. Brad Halbrook told The Center Square.

As a member of the Illinois House Ethics and Elections Committee, Halbrook argued for changes.

“These 40 day, prior to election day, vote by mail, early voting, ballots can be counted up to 14 days, the potential with rank-choice voting on the horizon, all of this stuff is not good for clean and fair elections and has to be reformed,” Halbrook said.

Judicial Watch has a pending lawsuit challenging Illinois’ weeks-long election process, arguing federal elections should be decided on election day, not weeks after.

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