With the fate of an automatic voter registration bill in question, Republicans in Springfield have filed automatic voter registration legislation, saying theirs would better ensure honest elections. “This bill balances our desire to register to vote along with our need to ensure that only eligible voters are being registered to vote,” State Sen. Sue Rezin, R-Morris, said. Rezin said the biggest difference between her bill and one sponsored by Democrats is that it requires the state to screen citizenship records before automatically registering an individual. “My bill allows that to be done in one step right at the DMV with a person that is signing a sheet promising that all of that information is accurate. This supports voter integrity and lessens the chance that you will have someone in the system who should not be able to vote,” she said.
Rauner vetoed the Democrats’ bill, SB 250, in August, saying it opens the state up to fraud.
Illinois Public Interest Research Group Director Abe Scarr appreciated Rezin’s effort and commitment to making voting more accessible, but thinks her bill wouldn’t see as many new voters as SB 250, since it would still have people being asked whether they want to register instead of just doing it for them.
“We think it doesn’t add any additional security while not doing as well to achieve the goals of the program,” Scarr said. “We just know that, by human nature, a lot of people will opt out, then because they think they’re registered or they think their information is up to date when it’s not.”