The State Board of Elections recently held a public hearing at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston to give the public a chance to learn more about the upcoming implementation of Illinois’ automatic voter registration, set to begin in July. But in many ways, voters won’t be “automatically” registered to vote unless they seek a new federally compliant ID starting next January. The new system will phase in starting July 1. At that time, anyone who goes to their local Department of Motor Vehicles, whether to change a title or get a new driver’s license, will be able to opt in to register to vote or update their voting information electronically.
Currently, individuals can register at the DMV. The difference is that their information is sent to the local election authority in the mail. Come July, that information will be sent electronically.
On Jan. 1, individuals who go to the DMV will have to opt out of voter registration if they don’t wish to be registered. But only if they are applying for the new federally compliant identification card or driver’s license known as REAL ID.