Illinois Lawmakers Pitch Automatic Voter Registration Again

Feb 10, 2017

State legislators are making another attempt to bring automatic voter registration to Illinois.

Credit Katie Finlon / WNIJ

Democrats filed bills Friday in the state House and Senate that would register state residents to vote automatically when they visit certain state agencies, unless they decide to opt out.

The agencies include the Secretary of State's offices, where residents apply for driver's licenses, and four others.

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed an automatic voter registration proposal last year, despite wide support in the General Assembly. He called for more safeguards.

Backers say they've simplified the proposal. If approved, it would take effect in July 2018, ahead of the midterm general election. 

Several states -- including California, West Virginia and Alaska -- have approved some form of automatic voter registration.