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Harmon urges State Board of Elections to withdraw Illinois from Crosscheck voter system

harmon 052617SPRINGFIELD – Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) issued the following statement urging the State Board of Elections to withdraw from the controversial Crosscheck voter registration program:

"In the past weeks, scrutiny has grown regarding the use of the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck program. I have read with grave concern the allegations of misuse of private data by other states, ostensibly to prevent voter fraud, but actually to suppress votes.  

Anti-fraud mechanisms employed in Illinois must protect and preserve, rather than threaten, the sacred right to vote.  That is non-negotiable. 

We have multiple tools at our disposal.  I urge the State Board of Elections to withdraw from Crosscheck so we can ensure other states' election authorities won't use Illinois' data to suppress voters in their states." 

Castro: Upholding DACA will protect our state’s economy

Castro DACA 080617SPRINGFIELD – Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) is fighting back against President Donald Trump’s efforts to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Castro sponsored Senate Resolution 864, which calls upon the Trump administration and U.S. Congress to preserve protections for undocumented young people formerly eligible for the DACA program.

“Illinois has the third largest number of DACA recipients in the United States,” Castro said. “Trump is trying to make young people, who have lived much of their lives in this country, leave a place that has become their home. We cannot allow Trump to hurt Illinois’ residents and hinder our economy.”

In September, Trump announced plans to repeal DACA, an Obama initiative put into place to protect undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. The program allows them to remain and work in the country if they meet certain criteria.

Senate Resolution 864 was adopted by the Senate on Wednesday.

Silverstein files measure to regulate social media political ads

silverstein 030117SPRINGFIELD –Political ads on social media platforms would be regulated to disclose their sources and funders if a new measure sponsored by Senator Ira I. Silverstein (D-Chicago) becomes law.

Senate Bill 2251 was filed this week and would extend the same requirements for disclosure regarding print, TV and radio advertising to social media political ads.

“Social media is immediate and far-reaching,” Silverstein said. “Just because it is new media doesn’t mean it shouldn’t fall under the same requirements for existing media in terms of disclosing who funded, prepared and distributed the material. Voters deserve to know what organizations are behind all political ads.”

Attention to online political ads has grown in recent months after Facebook admitted that accounts connected to Russia purchased politically contentious ads ahead of the 2016 presidential election. An estimated $100,000 purchase targeted audiences in swing states with no disclosure about the sources of those ads.

“A recent Facebook ad falsely attacked an Illinois Senate colleague with no clear means of pursuing the source,” Silverstein said. “The laws must apply to online ads as they do everywhere else to keep our elections fair.”

Senate Bill 2251 awaits assignment to a Senate committee before moving to the full chamber for consideration.

Bush measure would provide tax relief to Lake County flood victims

bush 102517SPRINGFIELD – Lake County residents whose property was damaged during July’s floods could receive an income tax credit of up to $750 under a measure introduced today by Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake).

“The flooding that occurred this summer cost Lake County residents thousands of dollars,” Bush said. “While some individuals have received insurance reimbursements, many are still waiting on the money they need to rebuild. This tax credit would provide much-needed relief to flood victims who have lost so much.”

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