In Wake of Identified Attempted Voter Fraud, Rep. Bourne Co-Sponsors Legislation to Improve Ballot Integrity

In the wake of learning that one Illinois county is investigating nine instances of vote by mail ballot requests that were made by deceased people, State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Morrisonville) is co-sponsoring a bill that would require county clerks to regularly scrub voter rolls to remove people who are no longer among the living. HB 2513 would require county clerks to utilize certification of death records to update voter registration records to remove people who have passed away. Current law recommends, but does not require, voter records to be updated when a death occurs.

 “It makes sense that when a death certificate is issued, other county records would be updated to reflect that death,” said Bourne. “HB 2513 makes a simple change to the Illinois Election Code, and says voter records ‘shall’ be updated rather than ‘may’ be updated. It’s common sense legislation that should have been adopted a long time ago.”

Last week the State’s Attorney in suburban DuPage County announced that his office has been notified of nine separate instances where vote by mail applications were sent in by individuals who are deceased. Employees of the County Clerk’s office identified the cases of voter fraud when cross checking ballot requests with county vital records.

“I am glad that the local officials caught these attempted illegal ballot requests. However, we need to be certain that records are updated so that these attempts cannot take place,” Bourne said. “This is exactly the kind of ballot integrity concern that House Republicans brought up during the bill debate on the vote by mail expansion legislation. We voiced concerns and offered suggestions for protective measures, but the majority party brushed our efforts aside. It appears our concerns were well founded. We must pass further measures to ensure the integrity of the voter rolls and our election.”

While too late to affect the November 2020 ballots, Bourne said she will be pushing for the bill’s passage when the legislature returns to Springfield for veto session in mid-November.