State Senate Prepares To Override Automatic Voter Registration Veto
Following tumultuous election, legislators have opportunity to demonstrate independence, bipartisanship, to strengthen electoral security
SPRINGFIELD (November 14, 2016) — The Illinois State Senate appeared poised to vote on Tuesday to override the veto of SB250, a bill that would create automatic voter registration in Illinois. SB250 passed both the House and Senate with bipartisan support in May but was vetoed in August.
SB250 reforms current registration laws so that whenever an eligible Illinois resident receives services at a designated state agency such as Drivers Services, he or she will be automatically registered to vote in the local jurisdiction, unless he or she opts out. Registered voters will also be able to update their voter information when they interact with these agencies.
Just Democracy Illinois, a broad-based coalition of religious, community and civil rights organizations, urged Senators to vote to override the veto.
“This is a great opportunity for both Republican and Democratic senators to modernize our electronic voter registration system, make our voter rolls more accurate and secure, and save taxpayers money over time,” said Ra Joy, Executive Director of CHANGE Illinois. “By overriding the veto on SB250, legislators can show Illinoisans exhausted from months of divisive political campaign rhetoric that they can work together in a bipartisan, proactive and productive way.”
“SB250 enjoyed overwhelming and bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate, and it should be signed into law,” said Andy Kang, Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago. “This is a common sense reform that increases the security of voting lists and avoids long lines on Election Day.”
On May 31, SB250 passed the House in an 86-30 vote and the Senate in a 50-7 vote.
Automatic Voter Registration has already passed or is in the process of implementation in five states, and another 25 states have bills pending.
Just Democracy Illinois is led by a steering committee that includes Action Now Institute, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago, CHANGE Illinois, Chicago Votes, Common Cause Illinois, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, and Illinois PIRG. More than 65 organizations have signed on to support SB250.