Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a measure Monday allowing automatic voter registration in Illinois, a move that comes a year after he rejected a similar measure over concerns about voter fraud. Illinois joins more than half a dozen other states with some form of automatic voter registration, which proponents say boosts civic participation. “This is good bipartisan legislation and it addresses the fundamental fact that the right to vote is foundational for the rights of Americans in our Democracy,” Rauner said at a Chicago bill signing ceremony attended by supporters. “We as a people need to do everything we can to knock down barriers, remove hurdles for all those who are eligible to vote, to be able to vote.”
He said the new law addressed his concerns about fraud and errors.
Under the new Illinois law, eligible individuals will be automatically registered unless they opt out when they visit Secretary of State’s offices for drivers’ licenses services and other state agencies. The measure had wide bipartisan support in the Democrat-majority Legislature.
The law takes effect immediately, but will be implemented in phases.