Illinois would implement automatic voter registration in time for the 2018 general election under a bill approved by the Senate Executive Committee on Wednesday. Similar legislation passed the Senate and House last year but was vetoed by Gov. Bruce Rauner. Under the measure, Illinois residents who interact at secretary of state driver service facilities or several other state-agency offices would be automatically registered to vote, unless they opt out. A new version of the legislation, SB 1933, was approved by the Senate committee, 10-3, along party lines. “There are two significant differences following the governor’s veto last year,” said Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, the sponsor of the measure.
The first is the implementation date, July 1, 2018. The second is that customers at affected agencies could opt out of registering to vote immediately.
Debbie Liu of the Chicago-based Coalition for a Better Chinese-American Community, said the legislation would “make democracy more accessible to this community and many other minority communities.”
A spokesman for Secretary of State Jesse White said his office would hope to implement automatic voter registration when it implements a Real ID program, also next year. The federal Real ID Act of 2005 required states to have consistent identification programs to prove residency.