Chicago Votes Hails Passage of Online Voter Registration in Illinois
Youth vote organization celebrates opening of Illinois’ democratic process
SPRINGFIELD (May 31, 2013) —Chicago Votes is celebrating the Illinois General Assembly’s approval of legislation establishing online voter registration in the state, saying it will expand civic engagement by younger voters.
The measure was included in an omnibus election law legislation, HB2418, which is on its way to Governor Quinn’s desk after receiving final General Assembly approval on Thursday. The bill also includes a provision requiring establishment of early voting centers on college campuses.
Chicago Votes, a non-partisan non-profit organization dedicated to increasing civic engagement and participation in the democratic process among young voters, organized aggressively around the bill in recent weeks, generating more than 2,000 comments to legislators urging them to vote in favor of the online voter registration measure.
“Online voter registration will help to bring about a new era of civic engagement in Illinois,” said Rebecca Reynolds, Executive Director of Chicago Votes. “When every iPhone, library and computer lab becomes a site for voter registration, we open the doors for a wave of new voters to get registered, get to the polls, and get involved.”
Reynolds thanked coalition partners who worked together with Chicago Votes to fight for online voter registration, including Common Cause Illinois, the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Asian Americans Advancing Justice Chicago, Illinois Public Interest Research Groups and others. She also thanked Sen. Don Harmon for his leadership on the issue. “He has been an incredible ally in this effort to make sure the democratic process is accessible to all Illinoisans, young and old.”
“As I did on the Senate floor in urging my colleagues to support HB 2418, I commend Chicago Votes for its strong and effective advocacy on behalf of online voter registration,” said Harmon. “This kind of enthusiasm is vital to the reinvigoration of our democracy by getting more young people to vote. As one who got started in elections and politics in my twenties, I’m encouraged by the activism of Chicago Votes and look forward to collaborating on further election reforms.”
Reynolds and Chicago Votes Board of Directors member Harish Patel published an op-ed in support of online voter registration in the Chicago Tribune earlier Thursday.
For more information on Chicago Votes, please contact Joanna Klonsky at 312-307-0840.