An Illinois lawmaker is trying to make it easier and more cost efficient for people to register to vote. The measure, which could end up getting a lot of backlash, was reintroduced at the Capitol in Springfield on Wednesday by State Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill. When a person goes to get a driver’s license, they can register to vote while they are there, but they have to opt in to register. Manar’s measure aims to change that by making registering to vote automatic, unless a person chooses to opt out. Manar said it could save millions. “First and foremost, it saves the state money. It saves the local government money. We believe that, that number would be in the millions when you put all of the savings together on a state and local basis,” he said. And he said the system in place now is too much of a hassle, and there is no need for the duplicate paperwork.
The senator is hoping to register some two million eligible voters. In the last midterm election, less than 40 percent of eligible voters bothered to turn up at the polls. But the department in charge has yet to show any support.
Illinois Secretary of State spokesman Dave Druker said they are certainly looking further into the bill and concerns they might have with it. “Well, I wouldn’t say [we have] an opposition to it really. We’re studying the issue and we do have some, some concerns, about it. So, we’re viewing it very, very carefully,” Druker said.