Napolitano disputes CityKey safety
Pinpointing his key reason for opposing the CityKey municipal identification measure, 41st Ward Alderman Anthony Napolitano recently called out the potential red flag via Twitter: an eyebrow-raising phrase that he averred could lead to trouble.
“The Board of Elections can accept the CityKey as a form of identification to register to vote or, in some cases, to vote,” Napolitano quoted the statement as saying.
Chris Vittorio, the alderman’s chief of staff, said the inherent problem with the bill lies in the possibility that immigrants in the country illegally might gain access to the ID system too easily and use it to vote fraudulently. Although the City Clerk’s office was said to deny the likelihood according to Vittorio, he nevertheless indicated that other aldermen “shared his concern.”
The chief of staff also stressed that required credentials for obtaining the CityKey ID appear minimal; and the law’s failure to require documentation to be secured means that should follow-up ever become necessary, records could be untraceable.
Although the Illinois Board of Elections determined the CityKey ID to be a valid form of ID both to register to vote and to vote per se, the state Election Code fails to require proof of citizenship.
“The registrant only needs to attest to being a U.S. citizen,” Vittorio said. “The law places no duty on the Board of Elections to confirm an applicant's citizenship. Essentially we are now on an honor system.”
Given this loophole, Napolitano said that voter fraud remains a real possibility. When elected officials conduct local registration events — striving to increase voter participation with a genuine grassroots effort to reach their constituents — it raises these concerns, he said.
Finally, Vittorio indicated, the state portrayed the CityKey ID program as a more convenient method to obtain a valid ID; yet Illinois already provides a state ID through its many DMV outlets, both in brick-and-mortar locations and online. Conversely, the CityKey is obtainable only through City Hall, according to Napolitano’s office.
“It is a certainty that the CityKey ID will create a voter fraud issue,” Vittorio said. “Alderman Napolitano believes there is no need for an alternative to the CityKey Municipal ID. The State of Illinois already offers easily accessible options.”