Same-day voter registration now the law in Illinois, but just for this year

Democratic supporters of the same-day registration bill in Illinois say this year is a test -- and they can improve the process with new legislation.
By Frances Burns   |   July 1, 2014 at 3:51 PM
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OAK PARK, Ill., July 1 (UPI) -- Illinois voters will be able to register on election day this November -- and only this November -- under a law signed Tuesday by Gov. Pat Quinn.

Republican critics say the bill, which also extends the early voting period and removes a requirement that early voters show photo ID, is aimed at boosting Quinn's chances of winning a second full term in November. Quinn and Democratic supporters of the bill describe it as a test run.

"This is certainly not a one time deal. We do not move backwards on election reforms," said Sen. Don Harmon, a Democrat who was one of the bill's sponsors. "This is not at all uncommon for us to sunset a provision so that we have to return to respond to what we've learned in the field to make sure it works going forward."

Quinn signed the legislation at the village hall in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park. He called democracy a "God-given gift that we have received."

The bill also allows students who live in Illinois and attend college in the state to change their voting address to their campus residence.

Bruce Rauner, the Chicago businessman who has received the Republican gubernatorial nomination, said he supports measures to increase voter turnout.

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