President Donald Trump’s quest for uncovering election fraud may find new life in Illinois.
After winning the 2016 election Trump charged that "millions" of people cast illegal votes.
In May, Trump issued an executive order forming the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.
With the use of data from states, the commission expects to release a report on voting irregularities by comparing the states with a new federal list.
Like many other states, the Illinois State Board of Elections initially refused to release voter information. The board noted that Illinois law protects confidential voter information, stating:
"In short, the State of Illinois does not have a publicly available voter roll. . . . Therefore, our agency does not have any material responsive to the Commission’s request."
However, the Illinois State Board of Elections announced they will reconsider its decision at the next board meeting on August 22. The board will only discuss the matter, not necessarily cooperate with the commission.
The board issued a statement, "No voter information will be released without Board approval and advance notice to the public."
IVN previously reported several secretaries of state voiced concerns about the "lack of openness" of the commission.
Vice chair of the commission, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, emphasized that sensitive voter information will remain secure and confidential.
“Once the commission's analysis is complete, the commission will dispose of the data as permitted by federal law.”
Critics of Trump's commission and similar investigations often note that the offense of voter fraud is rare.
Opponents of Trump’s commission say the board seeks to disenfranchise voters. Illinois US Senator Tammy Duckworth claimed the commission wants to "manufacture false evidence of massive voter fraud to justify outrageous voter suppression efforts."
Illinois does have a history of voter fraud. Many instances surround bribing for votes while others focus on registration.
The Local Government Information Services recently investigated fraud occurring during the 2014 Illinois gubernatorial election. Sixty-eight people, mostly from Cook County, voted twice for a total of 136 votes.
The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, also tracks voter fraud cases. Recent additions to their database total 848 convictions in 47 states. Heritage's research also documents that known fraud cases have overturned election results.