Voter rolls soon may be growing, but that doesn’t mean more people are going to vote. The Illinois House voted 115-0 this week to approve automatic voter registration for citizens who use state services, such as the driver facilities at the Secretary of State’s offices. It changes registration from “opt-in” to “opt-out.” On Wednesday, the Senate passed the bill 55-0. “The new system assumes they want in,” said David Druker, press secretary for the Secretary of State’s Office, of voters.
Employees at the driver facilities currently ask if someone using the facility wants to register to vote, Druker said. If Gov. Bruce Rauner signs the bill, the new questions will ask if they don’t want to be.
Historically, an increase in voters doesn’t mean an increase in votes.
La Salle County clerk Jo Ann Carretto said previous increases in the rolls, such as the 1993 National Voting Registration Act, didn’t lead to more participation. “The numbers increased, but the turnout didn’t,” she said.