Common Cause Commends Illinois on Adoption of Election Day Registration

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  • dale eisman, brian gladstein

Common Cause hailed Illinois lawmakers and Gov. Pat Quinn today as the state’s chief executive signed historic legislation permitting residents to register and vote on Election Day.

“This important bill puts Illinois in the forefront of a national effort to lower barriers to the ballot box. With state legislatures across the country convening this month and a crop of new governors coming into office, it sets a welcome example for the nation,” said Common Cause President Miles Rapoport.

“Election Day registration added about 6,000 people to the voter rolls in Chicago and Cook County alone in 2014; applied statewide, it will make it easier for thousands more to take part in future elections,” Rapoport added.

Passed last month with bipartisan support in the state legislature, the registration bill also includes provisions to make it easier for Illinois college students to vote on campus. Such voter-friendly legislation is among Common Cause’s top priorities nationally.

“We’re pleased to have played a part in strengthening the right to vote for thousands of our fellow citizens,” said Rey Lopez-Calderon, executive director of Common Cause Illinois. The passage of this bill and the governor’s signature today are more proof that  citizen activists can still make a difference in Springfield.”

Ten states and Washington D.C. already permit Election Day registration; Illinois is number 11 and California is set to begin it in the 2016 election. In every state where it has been implemented, the reform has sparked a jump in registration and voter turnout. You can find additional background here.