The Seventh Circuit on Friday found no evidence that allowing same-day voter registration in large Illinois counties discriminates against voters in small counties, and vacated a preliminary injunction won by a Republican congressional candidate. Republican Illinois congressional candidate and Tea Party leader Patrick Harlan sued the Illinois State Board of Elections in 2016, claiming a state law guaranteeing same-day registration for high-population counties only benefits urban Democrats. Illinois requires counties with a population of over 100,000 allow citizens to register when voting, but smaller counties don’t have to – and none do because of the cost and logistics involved. Only 20 Illinois counties out of 102 allow same-day registration, but these counties account for 84 percent of the state’s population.
Harlan’s complaint claims the mandate for high-population counties discriminates against the Republican Party and violates the 14th Amendment since urban areas tend to vote for Democrats.
U.S. District Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan granted Harlan a preliminary injunction in late September last year, less than two months before Election Day, finding that the current scheme discriminated against rural voters.
But the Seventh Circuit sided with the state election’s board and issued a stay reinstating same-day voter registration for the November election.
Full Article: Seventh Circuit Upholds Same-Day Illinois Voter Registration.