Automatic voter registration could help reach more than 2.3 million Illinois residents who aren’t registered to vote. But it could also lead to the accidental registration of undocumented residents which could get them deported, an immigration advocate testified at an Illinois Senate committee hearing in Chicago on Tuesday. Sen. Andy Manar’s automatic voter registration bill would allow residents to be automatically registered to vote when they obtain or renew a driver’s license or state identification card.
Manar, D-Decatur, told the three-member Senate Executive Subcommittee that passing the bill could help the state get 2.3 million more eligible voters. Six people testified at the hearing.
About 7.6 million Illinois residents are registered to vote but there are 9.7 million residents eligible to vote, he said, citing 2010 census figures.
Voters now can choose to register when getting a driver’s license or state ID. The bill would automatically register them to vote, unless they opt out.