Illinois residents will now be able register to vote online.
Governor Pat Quinn approved the legislation on Saturday, July 27, 2013, making Illinois the 18th state to allow its voters to register online, according to a statement from the Governor’s office.
Allowing voters to register online is expected to boost voter registration rates, particularly among young people.
“Online voter registration brings Illinois’ election process into the 21st century,” said House Majority Leader, Barbara Flynn Currie.
State Senator, Don Harmon said the new law will increase participation in the democratic system, but also save money. He said it costs 83 cents to process a paper registration, and only 3 cents for an online application.
Quinn announced this as a priority during his 2013 State of the State address. Upon signing the “Omnibus Elections Bill” on Saturday, Quinn also enacted other changes for early voting, posting precinct totals, and votes for candidates no longer running.
Early voting on Sundays will now be from noon – 3 p.m. instead of 9 a.m. – noon, the State Board of Elections is required to post precinct-by-precinct totals for all the state’s precincts, and adding that votes cast for a candidate who is on the ballot but has dropped out of the race before Election Day will not be counted.
It is expected that online registration will be available by the 2014 general election.
Iowa is not one of the 17 current states that allow online voter registration.