Automatic Voter Registration Bill Proposed in Springfield
Greg Bishop -- Illinois Radio Network
Supporters of a measure to automatically register people to vote when they’re getting a driver’s license through the DMV say it’s about ensuring every eligible voter is registered.
Senate Bill 2134, introduced by Democratic Senator Andy Manar, will change the current opt-in voter registration system to an opt-out system when people are getting or renewing their state ID or driver’s license. Manar says his bill will increase efficiency, save money and make voter rolls more accurate.
Manar also hopes it will lead to increased voter participation.
However, the Heritage Foundation’s Hans von Spakovsky says eligible voters don’t vote because they have a problem registering. Spakovsky says voter apathy is the reason for low turnout. Automatic voter registration “is not going to change that,” Spakovsky said. “It’s not going to increase turnout.”
The measure would not allow individuals in the country illegally -- but able to get a special Illinois driver’s license -- to become registered voters.
Supporters of the bill say automatic voter registration could lead to registering more than 2 million eligible voters who now are not registered.