SPRINGFIELD (Illinois News Network) – Illinois’ State Board of Elections is gearing up to spend more than a quarter million dollars on a required voter outreach program.
As part of the state’s membership in the national voter database ERIC, Illinois must try and reach people who are eligible to vote but who aren’t registered.
Matt Dietrich with the Illinois State Board of Elections said that means they will spend $240,000 to send letters to unregistered voters.
“Just going by Census data, we know there were about 2.2 million people in Illinois who were eligible to vote, they were of voting age, but they were not registered,.” Dietrich said.
This is not Illinois’ first unregistered voter outreach effort. Two years ago, Dietrich said the state spent $420,000 to send registration reminders.
“We’re not going to keep sending repeated notices to people,” Dietrich said. “We’re not sending out as many. But we are still, through ERIC, identifying people who remain unregistered, still eligible, but haven’t been notified of their status.”
Dietrich said ERIC gives Illinois access to both other states’ voter databases and drivers license databases. That’s how they find unregistered voters.
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner this month vetoed a law that would have dropped the state from ERIC. The governor said he didn’t want to take a tool away from the state’s election managers.