About a year ago, Cook County Clerk David Orr penned an op-ed calling for a “voter registration renaissance” in Illinois. Many of the components of Orr’s “All In” plan, most notably Election Day registration and increased government agency registration, will become reality when signed into law Saturday (Jan. 10) by Gov. Pat Quinn. “It’s fitting that Gov. Quinn, a longtime champion of democracy, will sign a voting rights bill as one of his final acts,” Orr said. “We fought hard for a comprehensive package that will address year-round voter registration issues, which ultimately will enhance the accuracy of the voter rolls, increase participation and improve efficiency.” Orr commends SB 172 sponsors Speaker Michael Madigan, Leader Barbara Flynn Currie and Sen. Don Harmon, as well as President John Cullerton, for moving swiftly to adopt changes to modernize the state’s voter registration system. Orr also applauds the many voting rights groups who advocated for the changes.
The “All In” components of SB 172 are:
• Election Day registration. Illinois will become the 12th state to offer in-precinct Election Day registration. The need is evident: nearly 9,000 Illinois voters participated in EDR for the Nov. 4, 2014 Gubernatorial Election, according to a report released in December by Just Vote, CLC and SAAPRI. In suburban Cook County alone, 3,604 voters participated in EDR.
• ERIC. Illinois will join the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), a multi-state voter registration data-sharing cooperative. ERIC compares voter registration and driver’s license data across state lines to clean the voter rolls, while also requiring outreach to eligible but unregistered citizens.