A group of nearly 20 Republican state senators in Illinois have quietly thrown their support behind legislation that would require the state’s voters to present a government-issued photo identification card to an election judge upon voting — a requirement that currently only applies to early voters. State Sen. Kyle McCarter (R-Lebanon) last fall filed Senate Bill 2496 and in the months since then, fellow Republican state senators have also signed onto the measure. Earlier this month, the bill was assigned to a subcommittee but has failed to gain much additional traction.
McCarter told talk radio station WSOY that he introduced the bill out of concern for “the well-known problems with voter fraud” in the state but has been disappointed to see the proposal “held up in a Senate committee and will likely not be debated in full public view on the Senate floor. State government could do more to combat [fraud],” McCarter told WSOY.
The Chicago Reporter last week said the proposal — and a similar measure, House Bill 3903, introduced in the state House of Representatives by state Rep. Dwight Kay (R-Edwardsville) — “could end up keeping some of Illinois’ poorest residents from exercising one of their basic democratic rights–voting.”