Gov. Pat Quinn is expected to sign legislation that will allow online voter registration, and officials of the agencies that would help implement the change in law say they are ready to make it work. “In today’s Internet age, allowing residents to register online will help more voters raise their voices at the ballot box and strengthen our democracy,” Quinn said in a statement after the General Assembly gave its final OK to the legislation, House Bill 2418, on May 30. The governor, who also used the statement to thank the bill’s chief sponsors, Sen. Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, and Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, D-Chicago, said the new system would “move our election process into the 21st century by making voter registration easier and more readily available for everyday people. This cost-effective measure will save taxpayer dollars and welcome new voters of all ages to our state’s Democratic process.”
Under the legislation, people who register online would include their driver’s license or state ID number as well as the last four digits of their Social Security number. The secretary of state’s office would verify data, and provide the valid electronic signature of the person to the voter registration process.
Each election authority — in Sangamon County it is the county clerk’s office — would have to maintain a voter registration system able to process online registrations from the system established by the State Board of Elections.
Cris Cray, director of legislation for the state elections board, said online registrations would come through the state board, as it will be the only agency authorized to link to secretary of state records for identity verification.