* The General Assembly sent this bill to the governor’s desk last week…
The Chicago Democrat’s proposal would extend in-person early voting hours and allow voters to register on election day.
It also would remove identification requirements for in-person early voting and allow public universities to serve as locations for election day in-person absentee voting.
The changes would be in effect for [only] the November election. [….]
Republicans say the move is an attempt to drive Democratic turnout in a close, nationally watched governor’s race.
* From a Chicago Votes press release…
What happened Friday is a big deal. The legislature approved a pilot program that allows Illinoisans to register to vote until the end of Election Day at designated polling locations across the state! This is a great step towards permanent precinct-wide Election Day Registration, which we will continue to fight for in the coming months.
We also got some bonuses:
* University of Illinois at Chicago, U of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, U of Ilinois at Springfield, U of I Carbondale, U of I Edwardsville, Eastern Illinois University, Illinois State University, Northern Illinois University, Southern Illinois University, Western Illinois University at Macomb and Western Illinois at Moline will allow students who are registered, but haven’t switched their registration location to vote on Election Day.
* Employers may not require employees to use earned vacation time or paid leave to serve as an election judge!
* We also got extended hours and more days for early voting.
Fewer folks will have to deal with an arbitrary 28 day registration deadline before an election, (or scramble to the few spots that offer registration 3 days before), or worry about not having their provisional ballots counted, or be excluded from the voting process because they moved just before Election Day.
The full bill is here.
* The bill also includes this…
Provides that Cook County Commissioners and the president of the board are not eligible to hold office if he or she has been convicted in any court located in the United States of any infamous crime, bribery, perjury, or other felony.
…Adding… From Think Progress…
Election Day registration is, in many ways, the anti-voter ID. Voter ID laws, which have been en vogue among conservatives recently, could disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of voters (though different studies have reached different conclusions regarding how many voters will be disenfranchised by voter ID, even conservative estimates suggest that 2 to 3 percent of registered voters will be impacted). Election Day registration, on the other hand, tends to boost turnout between 7 to 14 percentage points, according to scientific studies. These gains come predominantly from the very groups that voter ID tends to discriminate against: minorities, young voters, and low-income Americans.
There are a few reasons why Election Day registration has such a significant impact on turnout. Requiring people to register before they actually cast a ballot presents an extra hurdle to voting that necessarily depresses turnout. In addition, many Americans don’t begin paying attention to an election until just before Election Day, at which point it is too late to register in many states. Finally, nearly one in eight Americans move in an average year. Unless they remember to update their voter registration before Election Day or live in a state with Election Day registration, they can’t vote.
Election Day registration has grown increasingly popular in blue states recently, likely in response to the rash of voter suppression laws since 2010. In the past two years, four other states — California, Colorado, Connecticut, and Hawaii — have enacted Election Day registration, bringing the total number of states to 13, plus the District of Columbia.