Proposed legislation in the Illinois Senate got attention from President Barack Obama on Wednesday when he addressed the Illinois General Assembly. “Senator Manar and Representative Gable have bills that would automatically register every eligible citizen to vote when they apply for a driver’s license, and that would protect the fundamental right of everybody,” Obama said. State Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, has legislation to register people to vote when they get their driver’s license or a renewal. People can choose to opt out if they do not want to be registered. And people who cannot legally vote are exempt from the process.
“And as one of your constituents, I think you should pass that legislation right away. I think the Governor should sign that without delay. Let’s make the Land of Lincoln a leader in voter participation,” Obama said. The President’s main focus of his speech was about compromise, and looking at how local lawmakers reacted, that could actually happen with this bill.
… The bill is controversial. Concerns have been raised about citizens not wanting to be registered and not knowing to opt out. Also, if a non-citizen is accidentally registered to vote, it is possible the person could never get citizenship because of that issue.