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Online voter registration advances

Thursday, May 30, 2013

* 18 states already have some form of online voter registration. If sent to the governor, the new plan would begin next July, after the primary

llinoisans could someday register to vote via the internet under legislation endorsed Wednesday by the Illinois Senate.

The measure, which is just one piece of a package of proposed state election law changes being considered by state lawmakers, is designed to make the voting process more appealing to a bloc of potential voters who rarely come out in force. […]

Under the plan, the state would set up a system in which applicants could register through the state Board of Elections website, using a driver’s license and the last four digits of a Social Security number. The state would then transmit the registration to the person’s home county. […]

Cook County Clerk David Orr said online registration could be cheaper than the current paper process. In a statement, Orr said other states have seen a drop in the cost of processing a registration from 83 cents to 3 cents.

* There are some controversial aspects to the omnibus bill, however

A political dispute over the future of elections in Lake County has consumed top officials, as its top Democrat favors turning voting control over to a new board and a bipartisan collection of other leaders is pushing back hard.

The Illinois Senate on Thursday approved lengthy statewide elections legislation that emerged this week. Tucked inside is a plan that would take away election supervision from County Clerk Willard Helander and create a five-member board to handle voting.

* And

Most local officials are poised to keep their controversial power to kick political opponents off the ballot after lobbying from those officials helped stall a reform proposal in the General Assembly.

Instead, a piecemeal effort is moving forward that will abolish panels that rule on candidate eligibility in school districts only, shifting such authority to the county level. The latest proposal leaves the controversial panels in place for cities, villages, community colleges and townships across the state.

While critics of the current system support changes for the school districts, they say the final proposal will do nothing to stop scores of other local candidates from being kicked off the ballot by political opponents for questionable reasons.

Cook County Clerk David Orr called it “disappointing.” And David Morrison, acting director of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, said it was “an unfortunate retreat” because city and village panels tend to be the most political and face the most criticism.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Carl Nyberg - Thursday, May 30, 13 @ 11:13 am:

    It’s another failure of the federal courts to not see an equal protection problem with Illinois’ system of removing challengers from the ballot.

  2. - Election Lawyer Abe - Thursday, May 30, 13 @ 11:37 am:

    @ Carl Nyberg

    How does this pose an equal protection problem? Having some reasonable barriers to ballot access ensures we have a meaningful say in our democracy. Imagine if you were running for office and there were no barriers and thus no removal. I could beat you by easily placing every Nyberg I know on the ballot.

  3. - Dan Duffy's gas pedal - Thursday, May 30, 13 @ 11:52 am:

    Lake County’s Willard Helander has been fumbling elections for years and years, about time there is some oversight on this process.

  4. - reformer - Thursday, May 30, 13 @ 12:08 pm:

    Is it so hard to say no to municipal officials when they’re wrong? I bet even their lobbyists have trouble insisting with a straight face that the inevitable conflicts of interest on local election panels are no problemo.

  5. - Shore - Thursday, May 30, 13 @ 12:17 pm:

    terry link up to old dirty tricks.

    the first and only priority with elections needs to be improving election night reporting. those websites are an absolute joke and a complete embarassmemnt. this is not 1995 anymore and it’s not like this is rocket science.

  6. - PFK - Thursday, May 30, 13 @ 12:19 pm:

    HB2418 (S.Am.2) also DOUBLES the number of signature a Chicago aldermanic candidate would need to collect. Because…Chicago elections are too competitive?

  7. - Louis G. Atsaves - Thursday, May 30, 13 @ 1:10 pm:

    Willard Helander has been presiding over election results that are fast and accurate for years now. Why take it away from her? To sneak this provision into this bill is shockingly crude behavior.

    This unfunded mandate will be every costly to Lake County property tax payers.

    Absolutely no one from Lake County except for perhaps Link, wants this. No one. Even Link’s fellow Democrats in Lake County voted against it.

    It WILL make for a heck of a strong election issue against local Lake County Democrats next election.

  8. - Anonymous - Thursday, May 30, 13 @ 3:56 pm:

    Actually, nobody but political operatives cares about the inside baseball of elections. Republicans in Lake County will try to make it an election issue, but the independents who decide elections won’t care about partisan in-fighting.

    If Helander would act more like a non-partisan election official, this wouldn’t have happened. But she has been witnessed harassing voters and election judges in precincts, as recently as the last general election. This election board is a good idea. Non-partisan election administration is a good idea.

  9. - Madison - Thursday, May 30, 13 @ 4:11 pm:

    The meat in this sandwich is the voter registration issue; the double whammy of the collapse of the patronage system in this state and easy voter registration has already drove the Illinois GOP to the brink of extinction. Not to mention Conservativasauras Rex candidates. Just Sayin’

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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