Revised Automatic Voter Registration Bill Passes IL Senate

US Voting graphic

US Voting graphic

Wikimedia Commons

The Illinois Senate passed legislation Friday that’s meant to increase voter registration automatically.

Just a few months ago, Democrats failed to override Governor Rauner’s veto of automatic voter registration. The new version is intended to address his concerns. It would automatically add people to the rolls when they interact with government — such as getting a driver’s license.

Democrats say it would put Illinois ahead of the curve among states. And this time, Republicans agreed unanimously.

“Illinois has had its struggles, and continues to have its struggles over a variety of things so to be a leader in something is really nice,” said Senate Republican spokesperson Patty Schuh.

Schuh says the latest proposal (SB1933) fixes a problem Republicans saw last time around: people who aren’t citizens getting added to voter rolls, and the headache of removing them.

The proposal’s sponsor, Democratic Senator Andy Manar, says the bipartisan support for the bill was a positive sign.

“This provides evidence to people in the state of Illinois that Democrats and Republicans can work together on an issue that often times just goes right down the partisan hole in the legislature,” said Manar.

Another important change in the measure: rather than limiting the system to take place when people get driver’s licenses, residents would also be registered at other state agencies, including the Department of Natural Resources, which issues hunting licenses.

Story source: Illinois Public Radio