voter registration

Claire Buchanan

Illinois residents are registering to vote and casting their ballots early in record numbers.

The Illinois State Board of Elections reports more than 8 million people have registered to vote, which is higher than the amount in the 2016 Presidential election.  Spokesman Matt Dietrich says there’s also been a rise in early voting.

“Right now we’ve got close to 750,000 early votes cast," he said.  "If that keeps up, we’ll definitely surpass the number that we saw in 2014, which was 791,000. But it’s also possible that we could have more early votes cast than we saw in 2016.”

FLICKR/ VOX EFX

Some Illinois voters found out last fall that it's illegal to take a selfie with their ballot.  

Lawmakers are trying to change that, and are inspired by what they characterize as young people wanting to share the fulfillment of their civic duty on social media.

Amanda Sunley is a sophomore at New Berlin High School. She says she probably wouldn’t take a selfie at the voting booth.

“I just think it’s like your own business like when you’re voting, and you shouldn’t take pictures and talk about it as soon as you vote."

 

State lawmakers are closer to reviving an effort that failed last year to bring automatic voter registration to Illinois.

Democratic state Sen. Andy Manar of Bunker Hill is sponsoring a measure that would allow residents to automatically register to vote when they visit certain state agencies. A Senate committee sent it to the floor Wednesday on a 10-3 vote. Lawmakers approved a similar proposal last year, but Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed it over concerns it lacked necessary safeguards.

Katie Finlon / WNIJ

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

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.

Katie Finlon / WNIJ

An attempt to institute automatic voter registration in Illinois is dead.

Republican Governor Bruce Rauner cited potential voter fraud when he previously rejected the legislation.

The House failed Tuesday to override his veto.

GOP State Representative Mike Fortner of West Chicago says the plan is flawed. He says it would have created too long a government paper trail on anyone choosing to opt out of registering, and that's a security issue. 

Fortner says there are better ways to make registering easier.

"VOTE" By Flickr User Theresa Thompson / (CC X 2.0)

Illinois election officials say the number of registered active voters in the state is at its highest since 1970.

Illinois State Board of Election spokesman Jim Tenuto said Tuesday morning that there are 7.9 million registered active voters in the state. That's more than the 7.8 million who were registered in 2008 before then-U.S. Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois successfully ran for president.

That number was the previous high.

chicagohomeless.org

If your voter registration isn't updated yet, this weekend is your final chance to easily do it from your computer or smart phone.

Online registration in Illinois ends this Sunday.

Keith Freeman, with the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, has spent the campaign season visiting homeless shelters with a goal of getting 300 residents to register.

CREDIT FLICKR USER / KRISTIN_A (MERINGUE BAKE SHOP) "VOTE!" (CC BY 2.0)

Regular voter registration in Illinois has closed. The last day was Tuesday.

But there are other options if you need to register for the first time, or have moved and need to update your information.

Online voter registration is available; there’s a link at the Illinois State Board of Election’s website until Oct. 23.

Jim Tenuto, assistant director of the board, recommends casting an early vote if you want to avoid election-day lines.

Flickr user / kristin_a (Meringue Bake Shop) "Vote!" (CC BY 2.0)

A plan allowing automatic voter registration in Illinois is advancing through the Legislature despite concerns from the leading state election authority that would have to implement it.

Backers want Illinois to join Oregon, California and West Virginia in modernizing voter registration. They say it cleans up voter rolls and boosts civic participation.

However, the Illinois State Board of Elections says it's opposed because officials don't currently have a program to put it into place and it could cost millions of dollars.

The Illinois Senate has approved a measure allowing automatic voter registration in Illinois.

The chamber advanced the proposal 42-16 on Thursday.

Backers say they looked at similar laws in states like Oregon when crafting the Illinois proposal. It gives election officials data from five state agencies to automatically register eligible voters unless they opt out.

Proponents include voting rights advocates who say it'd improve access and update voter files before November.

Several Democratic lawmakers want to make it simpler for more than two million Illinois residents to sign up to vote.

Many people register to vote while renewing their driver's license. Currently, an Illinois resident has to apply, or opt-in, to register.

This proposal would change it, so people would be automatically registered unless they opt out.

Democratic Sen. Jacqueline Collins of Chicago said automatically registering residents may motivate apathetic 18-to-24-year-olds to vote.

Secretary of State

More than a million people have Illinois drivers' licenses but aren't registered to vote. They would be registered automatically under a measure before the General Assembly.

Democrat Daniel Biss from Evanston says he thinks it is his responsibility as a public official to make the election process as open as possible.

"I think that we have a challenge in our society right now where participation in democracy feels first of all difficult and second of all, unfortunately sometimes pointless," Biss said.

Voter Registration Deadline Arrives

Oct 9, 2012

The deadline to register to vote in the November election has arrived. Voters can still cast their ballot after the October 9th deadline, but they will have vote early and not on election day. Voters must have lived in their precinct for at least a month before the election.