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Illinois automatic voter registration clears Senate, heads to House

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois – Illinois residents could soon be automatically registered to vote, without even knowing it.

SB-1933 cleared the Senate after a 48-0 vote on May 5. It now heads to the House.

Currently, anyone who uses the Secretary of State services are asked if they want to register to vote or update their registration.

However, the bill would automatically register qualified people to vote when they sign up for or renew a driver’s license or state ID, unless they opt out.

Supporters of the bill say the goal is to save money and speed up the voter registration process, which they say will will boost voter turnout.

A prior version of the bill passed both the House and the Senate last fall but Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner didn’t give it the green light after raising concerns of voter fraud.

Supporters of the bill say a new version addresses Governor Rauner’s concerns. The new version added the requirement for someone to prove they are eligible to vote and gives them the option to opt-out of registering when they get their license or renew it.

It also adds the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation and Illinois Department of Natural Resources to the list of offices that could register voters.

Seven other states and the District of Columbia already register voters automatically.