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Lawmaker files bills to address voter fraud

MURPHYSBORO, Ill. — A Republican lawmaker says there’s voter fraud across the state including Jackson County.

State Rep. Allen Skillicorn, (R) East Dundee, wants to take tougher action against people who vote twice.

"It undermines our democracy," Skillicorn said. "The state’s attorneys across the state of Illinois are not prosecuting election fraud. These are documented, audited cases of election fraud."

He cites records from the Illinois State Board of Elections, detailing about 130 people cast two ballots or more, mostly in the Chicagoland area.

It’s not nearly as prevalent in southern Illinois but Jackson County has four cases of people casting at least two ballots in 2016.

Jackson County Clerk Frank Byrd said each case was forwarded to the FBI.  

"We go into the state database and we compare history. We look for issues," Byrd said. "If it’s found, we turn it over to the FBI and hopefully action is taken."

Skillicorn filed two bills: HB 2633 would add Illinois to the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program, despite a study that says the program purges valid voters from voter rolls far more than invalid voters.

HB 2632 would enhance criminal penalties for filing more than one vote and make it a felony to vote in different states.

"These are significant issues and they need to be stopped," Skillicorn said.

Byrd said some people who filed two votes may have simply made a mistake, given how many different ways there are to vote now.

He also said voter fraud is always corrected when it’s found.

"If people are going to try to do this and think they’re going to get away with it, that’s not going to happen," Byrd said.

Both bills are stuck in committee and the bill’s sponsor said he doesn’t expect any support from Democrats.

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