Illinois could boost voter participation if it begins pre-registering teenagers when they get their first driving permit. That was just one idea that emerged during an hourlong hearing Tuesday on a plan to make voter registration automatic whenever someone updates or gets a driver’s license. Automatic registration, already in place in Oregon and California, has the backing of a number of groups and government officials. “Creating an automatic registration makes voting simpler and knocks down a major barrier that keeps people from voting,” Delia Ramirez of Common Cause Illinois told a panel of senators discussing the plan.
Noah Praetz, director of elections for Cook County Clerk David Orr, said about half of people getting driver’s licenses don’t register to vote. He suggested preregistering 16-year-olds when they first come in the doors for their learner’s permits so they are already in the system once they turn 18.
… The proposal changes current registration laws so whenever someone applies for, updates or renews a driver’s license or state identification he or she automatically will be registered to vote in the local jurisdiction.
Full Article: State lawmakers debate voter registration change.