Rauner’s Veto of Bipartisan Automatic Voter Registration “Great disappointment”

CHICAGO – Today, Governor Rauner vetoed SB 250, which would have enacted automatic voter registration in the state of Illinois.  SB250 earned bipartisan support when passed this summer with the majority of the Democratic caucus and 15 Republican votes in the House and 5 in the Senate. 

In the past, Governor Rauner has said he was a “big fan of simplifying the voter registration process.”

The Illinois legislature now has the opportunity to override his veto to ensure that every citizen of Illinois will be automatically registered to vote when receiving or renewing their license or ID at the DMV. Ellen Kurz, President of iVote, issued the following statement.

“Illinois has always been a leader in voting rights, but today, Governor Rauner has taken a step back from making voting more modern, secure, and cost-efficient in the state of Illinois. We are also disappointed that he passed on this opportunity to prove things can still get done in a bipartisan way in Springfield.

“iVote will work with our partners to ensure Automatic Voter Registration is a reality in Illinois.”

Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) would ensure every eligible citizen of Illinois was registered to vote when they got or renewed their drivers license or state ID. 

  • AVR would modernize the registration process to ensure that it kept up with today’s economy and increased mobility.  This is why AVR has been introduced in over 30 states and enacted in five in just the last year. 
  • It would help the 2.6 million of Illinoisans who are currently eligible to vote but unregistered participate in their democracy.  Oregon, for example, has registered 200,000 new voters in the first seven months of enacting AVR while they only averaged 2,000-3,000/mo previously. 
  • By reducing paper registration AVR would make records more secure and save money.  Maricopa County, Arizona for example, saved 80 cents on the dollar when moving the electronic registration record

iVote, a national organization dedicated to going on the offense to expand access to voting, has built paid media campaigns in support of AVR in California, Illinois, Maryland, and New Jersey. In Illinois, iVote organized hundreds of grassroots phone calls into key legislators. Additionally, iVote bought digital ads to aide legislators and candidates, both Democrats and Republican, who signed iVote’s pledge to support AVR.

iVote has also supported efforts in Oregon, Vermont, and West Virginia. The most recent AVR bills to pass into law, in Vermont and West Virginia, were passed with overwhelming bipartisan support. Additionally, Connecticut enacted automatic voter registration administratively at the end of May.


About iVote

iVote, a voting rights campaign dedicated to the powerful notion that every eligible citizen should vote, recently launched multiple campaigns to go on the offense to expand access to voting across the country.

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Paid for by iVote Fund, Ellen Kurz, President. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s campaign committee.

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