Legal interpretation of a federal ruling curtailing expanded same-day registration will allow the practice at early voting stations. The state’s county clerks, after a conference call last week, agreed that early voting stations still would be allowed to register people to vote, McHenry County Clerk Mary McClellan said. Legal counsel for the Illinois State Board of Elections concurred with the interpretation, she said. U.S. District Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan slapped a preliminary injunction on a state law that requires counties with more than 100,000 residents to implement a system by which voters can register at the same time they cast ballots at any polling place through Election Day.
Under the law, which was implemented after a successful pilot program in 2014, counties with fewer than 100,000 residents can opt out if they lack the necessary electronic poll book system that gives all precincts instantaneous access to voter records.
But a Republican congressional candidate and a county Republican central committee filed suit earlier this summer, alleging that the law violated the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment by creating a system in which larger counties – which lean or outright vote Democratic – would have a greater opportunity to vote.