Driving Voter Registration

From Chicago Tribune

By Rick Pearson

The group iVote, made up of voting-rights advocates, says that 62 candidates for the Illinois General Assembly have pledged to support legislation that would make voter registration automatic when people get or renew a driver's license or a state ID card.

The organization estimates more than 2 million people in Illinois are eligible to vote but aren’t registered. It says the secretary of state’s office, which issues driver's licenses and IDs already can check the eligibility and register voters through the current motor-voter law that has employees ask if people want to register to vote.

The measure, introduced by state Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, would change the current system from an opt-in to register to vote to opt-out if someone doesn’t want to register.

“Automatic voter registration is a completely bipartisan issue in my mind. It would replace our costly, inefficient and outdated system that’s currently in place.” Manar said in a statement. “We should not be content with only having a small fraction of eligible Illinoisans voting. We should strive for 100 percent.”

Similar legislation has been enacted in Oregon and California and bills have been introduced in more than 30 states.

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