Online voter registration the new reality in Illinois

State Seal Black and White - TRANSPARENTRSPRINGFIELD – Starting today, Illinois citizens can register to vote online. All they need to do is visit, and follow the website’s instructions. They’ll also need their Illinois driver’s licenses or state-issued IDs, the last four digits of their social security numbers and their current addresses.

“Our democracy is strongest when as many people as possible get involved and participate,” said State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park), who passed the law enabling online registration. “People can do everything else online – shop, pay bills, book flights and hotel rooms – they expect to be able to register to vote, too.”

The law passed the General Assembly last year, but it gave the State Board of Elections until July 1 to implement the program. The November general election will be the first election where online registration is a reality.

This year, Senator Harmon continued his efforts to bring Illinois’ voter registration laws into the 21st Century by making it easier for citizens to register and to vote. Near the end of the General Assembly’s spring session, he passed legislation that provides several new avenues to encourage people to participate in the democratic process.

The measure includes:
• Expanding permanent early voting sites to all counties with more than 100,000 residents
• Requiring local election authorities to place voting centers on all public university campuses
• Expanding vote-by-mail from 40 days before the election to 90 days before the election

It also creates a Voter Pilot Program, which does the following:
• Extends early voting to the Sunday before the election
• Requires permanent early voting sites to stay open until 7 p.m. the week before the election
• Extends Sunday voting hours
• Extends grace period voting to Election Day
• Suspends the requirement that voters must show ID to vote early

If the pilot program is successful, the state may make these changes permanent.

This year’s legislation is currently under consideration by the governor.

Sen. President Harmon


President of the Senate
39th District
Years served:
2003 - Present

Committee assignments: Executive; Judiciary; Subcommittee on Election Law (Sub-Chairperson); Subcommittee on Const. Amendments (Sub-Chairperson); Subcommittee on Business Entities (Sub-Chairperson).

Biography: Attorney; born 1966, in Oak Park; graduated St. Ignatius High School; B.A., Knox College; J.D. and M.B.A., University of Chicago; married (wife, Teresa), has three children: Don, Frances, and Margaret.

Associated Representative(s):
Camille Y. Lilly
Kathleen Willis