05262017AM3381RSPLAINFIELD- State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) has joined the fight to protect Illinois residents’ personal information.

Bertino-Tarrant is supporting legislation, Senate Bill 2273, to end the State of Illinois’ practice of sharing voter data with any interstate voter registration program that will not properly protect the residents of the 49th State Senate District’s personal information

“Illinois citizens divulge sensitive information when they register to vote,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “They are entrusting the State of Illinois to protect their personal data from cybersecurity breaches that can make them susceptible to identity theft and threats to their financial security. It is absolutely imperative that we honor this trust and only give secure entities access to their information.”

The Illinois Board of Elections currently subscribes to two national voter database systems designed to help election authorities identify voters who may be registered in more than one state: The Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) and the Interstate Crosscheck System (Crosscheck).

Last month, a joint committee heard testimony from Shawn Davis, a faculty member at the Illinois Institute of Technology Center for Cyber Security and Forensics Education. Davis testified that the Crosscheck system has several security concerns that make personal information easily accessible.  While most websites handling sensitive information use secure file transmission networks called SFTPs, Crosscheck uses an unsecured network system.

Senate Bill 2273 designates ERIC as the exclusive interstate voter registration program for the state and prohibits the State Board of Elections from Illinois voters’ personal data with any interstate voter registration program other than ERIC.

Voter registration files include personal information such as residents’ date of birth, partial social security numbers and driver’s license or state identification numbers. If this information is left insecure Illinois residents will be vulnerable to identity theft.

“I do not support the use of systems that fail to protect personal information,” Bertino-Tarrant said.  “This is not what the voters of Illinois signed up for when registering to vote. It’s our duty to uphold the sanctity of Illinois elections and reassure citizens that participating in the democratic process is safe and fair.”

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