Illinois state Sen. Jim Oberweis (R-Sugar Grove)
Illinois state Sen. Jim Oberweis (R-Sugar Grove) takes no consolation in the fact that he predicted the Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) program would someday create the havoc it has.
“I warned a long time ago that this would happen when the program was started,” Oberweis told the DuPage Policy Journal. “It is unconscionable that people who are not citizens would be on our voter rolls and would be allowed to cast ballots in our elections.”
Roughly one week after it was revealed that at least 574 non-citizens were wrongly allowed to register in 2018, with 19 of them actually casing ballots, details are now emerging about another 4,700 16-year-olds also being started in the registration process, and nearly 300 more people that opted out of AVR had their information sent to the Illinois State Board of Elections.
Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White (D-Chicago) | Photo courtesy of Daniel X. O'Neil
The AVR program operates by automatically registering legal residents 18 or over when they apply for an Illinois driver’s license or a state ID.
“The ability to vote in elections and influence our laws is a right reserved for citizens of this country,” said Oberweis, who has joined 18 other GOP lawmakers in sending a letter to Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White (D-Chicago) requesting that the program be halted. “We have a process for people if they wish to legally become citizens and to be granted the rights and privileges that come with being a citizen of this country. We should suspend the AVR program until we know for certain that there are appropriate safeguards in place to prevent non-citizens from being registered to vote.”
Illinois is one of only a handful of states that still allows immigrants who are non-citizens to obtain a driver’s license or state ID.
After serving in the 25th District for the last seven years, Oberweis is now challenging U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-Naperville) in the 14th Congressional District.