Automatic Voter Registration

Common Cause Illinois is working tirelessly to advocate for election reform measures to increase access to the ballot box and ensure that everyone has the opportunity to exercise their constitutional right to vote. Through our Automatic Registration campaign, we are fighting for a system that will make it significantly easier to register to vote.  

Under the current system, each person is required to register to vote by opting-in. However, many Illinois residents have already provided the documents needed to register while receiving driver's licenses or other state ID cards.  Automatic registration changes the system into one that is opt-out, meaning that everyone who completes the application for a license or other qualifying document is automatically registered to vote.  This could increase the number of registered voters in the state of Illinois by up to 2 million people!

On January 28th, 2016, SB250 was introduced to the Illinois State Senate, with Chief Co-sponsors Senator Andy Manar and Senator Jacqueline Collins. The bill was passed with bipartisan supermajorities in the Illinois House and Senate, and was sent to Governor Bruce Rauner’s desk on June 13th, 2016. Despite Common Cause’s tireless efforts to garner support for the legislation, Rauner failed to deliver for the people of Illinois and vetoed the bill. He went against his party and his constituents.

Since then, Common Cause has been relentlessly working with Springfield to introduce a new iteration of the bill that accounts for the Governor’s earlier criticism of the legislation. After months of hard work lobbying in Springfield and negotiating with legislators, AVR again passed both the Illinois State Senate and the Illinois State House on May 29th, 2017. The bill enjoyed unanimous bipartisan votes in both houses, marking an unprecedented display of support for Automatic Voter Registration. SB1933 was then passed to Governor Rauner’s desk for approval.   

As we await Governor Rauner’s approval, Common Cause is mobilizing thousands of members and supporter to contact his office and implore him to sign the legislation. Once the bill is officially introduced to his desk, he will have 60 days to sign the bill into law. We will continue to fight for Automatic Voter Registration in this time, and ensure that voting rights are expanded in Illinois. Click here to tell Gov. Rauner to sign the bill immediately!

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