Voter registrations of some former IDOC inmates possibly cancelled

DeWitt County Clerk already has reinstated registration for those affected locally

SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois State Board of Elections on Monday notified 59 local election authorities that 774 former inmates of the Illinois Department of Corrections may have had their voter registrations erroneously canceled due to a data-matching error involving both agencies. 

DeWitt County was one of the Illinois counties  notified.  

The voter registrations of six former Illinois Department of Corrections inmates from DeWitt County were part of the error.

DeWitt County Clerk Dana Smith told the Clinton Journal on Tuesday she already had reinstated the voter registrations of the local people affected.

Matching based on information forwarded to the State Board of Elections incorrectly categorized the individuals as currently incarcerated, when in fact they had completed their sentences and been discharged. The State Board of Elections has worked with the Illinois Department of Corrections to identify the affected people, whose records were among more than 126,000 shared between the two agencies between 2014 and 2019. 

Under Illinois law, voting rights are suspended during an inmate’s incarceration but are restored upon release,.

The Board of Elections provided each election authority with voter information on the affected voters so that their registrations could be reviewed for reinstatement by the start of early voting on Feb. 6. 

The Board of Elections and Department of Corrections are committed to ensuring this does not happen again, the department said in a media release. Both agencies are currently revising their data sharing agreement and matching parameters to avoid this error in future data exchanges. 


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