SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Hoping to streamline the process to register to vote, a measure backed by state Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia, D-Aurora, that will allow Illinois residents to automatically register to vote when they renew their driver’s license has been sent to the governor.
“People deserve every opportunity to be encouraged to vote,” Chapa LaVia said. “This proposal will make it easier for individuals to register and have their voice heard.”
The Chapa LaVia -backed Senate Bill 1933 would allow the state to automatically register eligible voters while they are applying for, updating or renewing driver’s licenses or state identification cards with the Secretary of State and other designated agencies. The voter registration information would be sent electronically to the applicable election authority. Illinoisans who do not wish to register would have the opportunity to opt out.
Currently, the state’s voter registration process operates on an opt-in system, in which citizens can register online or by providing paperwork in person or by mail. Advocates for the bill point out other states that have implemented automatic voter registration have seen savings over time by streamlining outdated methods of registration. While Chapa LaVia’s measure seeks to provide cost-savings down the road, the larger goal is to provide voters with more reasons to engage with their government and increase their influence on the process.
“Policies should be in place that make the voting process easy and something that people will want to participate in,” Chapa LaVia said. “This is a great way for elected officials to be held accountable and to the highest representative standards. I hope this measure is swiftly signed into law.”