Public Accountability Report Public Accountability Report

State Board of Elections
(Appropriated Spending in Thousands)
  FY 2019 FY 2018
Reporting Programs Expenditures Headcount Expenditures Headcount
Election Operations Division $ 7,009.8 23.0 $ 4,321.6 25.0
Fund 206 - Cybersecurity $ 1,806.8 3.0 $ 0.0 0.0
Campaign Disclosure Division $ 782.9 14.0 $ 758.1 14.0
Non-Reporting Programs
Voting and Registration Systems Division  $ 7,530.9 10.0 $ 4,588.4 9.0
Information Technology Division  $ 1,751.3 11.0 $ 2,135.6 8.0
Administration Services Division  $ 1,669.4 8.0 $ 2,595.4 10.0
Division of General Counsel  $ 361.5 4.0 $ 479.1 4.0
Fund 206 - HAVA Activities  $ 141.2 N/A $ 376.9 N/A
The Board  $ 20.7 N/A $ 65.7 N/A
Totals $ 21,074.5 73.0 $ 15,320.8 70.0

Totals may not add due to rounding.

Agency Narrative

The State Board of Elections was created by the 1970 Illinois Constitution as the entity to have “general supervision over the administration of the registration and election laws throughout the state.” Public Act 78-0918 (enacted October 22, 1973) established the structure and specific functions of the Board. The Board is the only central election-related agency for the entire state and is empowered to perform those specific duties as are, or may hereinafter be, prescribed by law. The Board consists of several areas/divisions that perform the operational functions of the agency. The three areas that are primary to the Board’s mandated operations are the the Election Operations Division, the Campaign Disclosure Division, and the Voting and Registration Systems (VRS) Division.

Election Operations Division

This division is primarily responsible for administering the candidate petition filing process, administering objections filed against a candidate’s nominating petitions, and certifying ballots. Other functions performed by the Elections Operations Division include canvassing election results and training local election jurisdiction personnel in election laws and procedures.

VRS Division

This division was created with the passage of the federal Help America Vote Act of 2002, which resulted in the replacement of punch-card voting systems statewide and the implementation of an integrated statewide voter registration database. The VRS Division is primarily responsible for the testing of voter tabulation systems, the operations of the Illinois Voter Registration Database System (IVRS), and maintenance and support of local election jurisdiction voter registration and has taken a primary role in developing processes and procedures to ensure proper implementation of the mandates of the Act. Implementation activities under this federal mandate began in fiscal year 2004. Completion and start-up operations of IVRS were performed during fiscal year 2009, implementation of an On-Line Voter Registration program in June 2014, and Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) in 2017. The program communicates directly with all 108 election jurisdictions and enhances voters' involvement in all future elections. (The Board also distributes the lump-sum appropriations used for state support of county election judge costs and the payment of county clerk/recorder stipends.)

Campaign Disclosure Division

The primary function of this division is the administration, implementation, and enforcement of the Illinois Campaign Financing Act (10 ILCS 5/9-15), the Act to Provide for Licensing and Regulating Certain Games of Chance (230 ILCS 15/8-8.1), and the Fair Campaign Practices Act. To this end, the Campaign Disclosure Division oversees the submission of required campaign disclosure reports by applicable campaign committees and related groups, performs review of required disclosure reports, administers corrective action to those entities found in noncompliance, and administers the complaint filing process.

In addition, the Campaign Disclosure Division reviews and approves raffle applications from political committees for fundraising purposes. A new mandate in fiscal year 2009 was the development and implementation of the Business Entity Registration database (BEREP), which receives business entity information from qualifying entities doing or desiring to do business with the state. The purpose of BEREP is to deter unlawful contributions to candidates and officeholders from businesses with state contracts. Day-to-day operations of this database unit are supported by the Campaign Disclosure Division.

In March 2018, the Board received a HAVA Election Security Grant from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. The purpose of this grant is to improve the administration of elections for federal office, including enhancements to election technology, and make security improvements to the systems, equipment, and processes used in federal elections. In addition, in accordance with state law (Public Act 100-0587), the Board created and implemented a Cyber Navigator Program and Division to support the efforts of election authorities to defend, detect, and recover from cyber threats. The program consists of enhancements to infrastructure, a cybersecurity information-sharing program, and Cyber Navigators for the local election authorities.

The Board also consists of several other divisions that provide support services to the divisions listed above. Those divisions are the Administrative Services Division, the Division of General Counsel, and the Information Technology Division.