Automatic voter registration sent to governor’s desk

AVR 060116

SPRINGFIELD- State Senator Andy Manar’s (D-Bunker Hill) plan to streamline the voter registration process in Illinois was approved by the Illinois House of Representatives Tuesday.

“We passed this measure with bipartisan support in both chambers. Increasing voter turnout, saving the state money and strengthening our democratic voting process are easy principles to support,” Manar said. “I would urge the governor to sign this immediately, so that our state agencies and board of election can begin the necessary transitions.”

Senate Bill 250 would allow for the Secretary of State’s office and similar state agencies to submit eligible voters information to the State Board of Elections when they visit their facilities for services.

This would significantly cut down the time and effort needed to register voters, and eliminate many duplicative steps that exist currently, saving taxpayer dollars.

Oregon, California, West Virginia and Vermont have recently implemented automatic voter registration, and have realized significant savings.

For example, in Maricopa County, Arizona processing a paper voter registration form costs 83 cents, compared to an average of 3 cents for applications received electronically from the DMV or through the online system

In Canada, with automatic voter registration they only spend 35 cents per active voter to create and maintain its lists in a federal election year—one-twelfth the cost in the U.S.

Electronic filing of voter registration information would also reduce the number of inadvertent human errors that occur during the process.

Senate Bill 250 passed the House by a 86-30 vote and previously passed the Senate by a 42-16 vote.

It now goes to the governor’s desk for him to consider.