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Despite GOP opposition, elections bill starts to move

Tuesday, Dec 2, 2014

* Dave Dahl…

The Illinois General Assembly is trying to expedite a bill to make Election Day registration permanent as part of a passel of election-related ideas. Another bill would expand early voting for both mail-in and in-person balloting and do away with the term “absentee ballot” in favor of what State Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago), carrying the bill for House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago), called “voting.”

The bill, which is still being put together despite it passing committee Monday evening, is moving too fast for some people’s liking.

State Rep. Ed Sullivan (R-Mundelein) quizzed Currie: “It was (Sunday) when the ballots were certified. And yet the day after that we have this omnibus election bill we’re going to push forth without any data analysis of what went right –“

“We know who won,” Currie interrupted. “What else do you need to know?”

* Mike Riopell

State Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, a Chicago Democrat, said Election Day registration is already common elsewhere and election authorities haven’t asked lawmakers to do away with it.

“A lot of other states have been there, done that,” Currie said.

The election proposal is lengthy. It even includes a provision that if election officials are providing mementos to some people such as “I Voted” stickers, no one can be denied such a sticker.

The proposal moves to the Illinois House floor for further debate. All Democrats on the panel voted for it and all Republicans voted against it.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

39 Comments
  1. - Concerned - Tuesday, Dec 2, 14 @ 9:17 am:

    What do Republicans have against voting?


  2. - OneMan - Tuesday, Dec 2, 14 @ 9:19 am:

    The election proposal is lengthy. It even includes a provision that if election officials are providing mementos to some people such as “I Voted” stickers, no one can be denied such a sticker.

    Is this an actual issue that needs to be addressed via the law?


  3. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 2, 14 @ 9:19 am:

    It’s hurried, but there is far more time for implementation then what happened this last cycle.

    I would be far more “worried” if straight party voting was being reconsidered again, than this proposal being permanent.

    The train is on the track…


  4. - Gooner - Tuesday, Dec 2, 14 @ 9:26 am:

    In Chicago, same day registration was a fiasco. They need to give this some thought so that the mistakes are not repeated.

    I’m generally in favor of making it easier to vote, but the system must be able to function. I don’t think that was the case in November in Chicago.


  5. - Del Clinkton - Tuesday, Dec 2, 14 @ 9:27 am:

    @concerned:

    Good post. I ask myself the same question too.

    We really need to Amend the Constitution of the United States of America to include a Right to Vote.

    And for all voting to be on paper ballots. I love technology, its made my life easier in oh so many ways. But that does not mean its appropriate for everything. Paper ballots work just fine.


  6. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Dec 2, 14 @ 9:29 am:

    ===In Chicago, same day registration was a fiasco===

    It went well in suburban Cook. Why? Because suburban Cook opened up far more same day spots than Chicago. It wasn’t the state’s fault.


  7. - John Parnell - Tuesday, Dec 2, 14 @ 9:29 am:

    The Republicans love to make voting difficult. In the 1990’s when they were in the majority in the Senate they made Illinois the last state to adopt “Motor Voter. The legacy continues.


  8. - Wordslinger - Tuesday, Dec 2, 14 @ 9:37 am:

    What “data analysis” does Rep. Sullivan wish to conduct? Is he worried that Rauner won through vote fraud?


  9. - Makandadawg - Tuesday, Dec 2, 14 @ 9:40 am:

    Lengthy and quickly with few details. Just the way we like it in Illinois.


  10. - Norseman - Tuesday, Dec 2, 14 @ 9:47 am:

    === if election officials are providing mementos to some people such as “I Voted” stickers, no one can be denied such a sticker. ===

    Really, are we worried about non-voter self esteem? Republican judges withholding stickers from Democrats? I guess nothing is too trivial for the Solons to put in their two cents.


  11. - A guy... - Tuesday, Dec 2, 14 @ 9:50 am:

    They really do need the people to catch up with the technology on this. It looks like this would only make a difference in “watershed” election cycles which come around rarely. It also doesn’t penalize habitual procrastinators who will wait until the last minute to do anything; shop, vote, whatever.

    My only qualm is why this has to move so quickly without really vetting all of the details and putting up a good bill with plenty of consensus to pass it? I’ve seen it become not all that rare, but really, passing an unfinished incomplete bill out of committee? That’s where all the detail work should be done. Instead, we ferret out the details in a floor debate where the least amount of time for research exists? Weird way to do business.


  12. - QCLib - Tuesday, Dec 2, 14 @ 9:53 am:

    Long overdue!

    If there were issues, counties have some time now to get through them.


  13. - Judgment Day - Tuesday, Dec 2, 14 @ 9:55 am:

    “State Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, a Chicago Democrat, said Election Day registration is already common elsewhere and election authorities haven’t asked lawmakers to do away with it.

    “A lot of other states have been there, done that,” Currie said.”
    ——————

    What are the differences between states doing full blown same day VR and Illinois? It’s one thing to just drop a ‘plug and play’ VR system into IL -IF- everything is compatible. What if it’s not?

    If we have to re-code 50% of a VR System, then that’s a really big deal. It’s not just the locals - it’s also the SBE - and their tech has been no great shakes.

    This looks to me like deciding to add a fifth (middle) lane to a 4 lane divided highway, with all sorts of turn lanes. Really need to think this one through before we charge on out there.

    And it’s not like we’re flush with cash here in IL to pay for any necessary mods.

    I’ve noticed that nobody is really talking about the money aspect of all this. Wonder why that is?

    Remember: “When they say it’s not about the money - It’s ALWAYS about the money”.

    I hope the legislature gives us some Magic Beans that we can use to make it all work.


  14. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Dec 2, 14 @ 10:00 am:

    I’m glad to see this kind of legislation moving and strongly support making it as easy as possible to vote. I would even like to see a day off of work for all to vote. Why not? Productivity growth seems to be surpassing wage growth by a lot.


  15. - Amalia - Tuesday, Dec 2, 14 @ 10:00 am:

    same day registration, voting on Sundays, voting by mail, whatever it takes to get the people up to the voting percentages we see in other countries where the right to vote seems to be taken more seriously. U S citizens are taking democracy for granted. make it easier for them to vote and pass permanent same day registration now.


  16. - A guy... - Tuesday, Dec 2, 14 @ 10:07 am:

    ===I would even like to see a day off of work for all to vote.====

    Sorta like the days off to honor the deceased, Veteran’s, great Presidents, Labor and heroes of social justice? In a short matter of time, we can move Election Day to Monday and create a three day weekend….you know, just so people can vote any time over the 3 days…even from their vacation home or time share. I think you’re on to something here. Oy.


  17. - Judgment Day - Tuesday, Dec 2, 14 @ 10:08 am:

    Hope it occurs to people that this could turn into the election equivalent of going through airport security during a holiday week, at least in terms of lines and wait time.

    Theory is easy, implementation and scalability are HARD.


  18. - MrJM - Tuesday, Dec 2, 14 @ 10:12 am:

    In a short matter of time, we can move Election Day to Monday and create a three day weekend….you know, just so people can vote any time over the 3 days

    Sounds a-okay to me.

    – MrJM


  19. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 2, 14 @ 10:14 am:

    “Thumbs Up” Bill

    Everyone registers, you have the red/blue thumbs in Primary, purple in the General, inked thumbs guarantee only one vote cast…

    “Who” are we afraid of, Parliament of owls?


  20. - election authority - Tuesday, Dec 2, 14 @ 10:16 am:

    Nobody has really ask us what we think about any of changes. We are force to roll with the changes with no financial support from the state. County budgets are tight and county boards seem not to care what is force on the offices.Idea that should work but i wish we start with April election but Chicago probably does want it with Mayor ’s election this year.
    So we will not have this until Presidential primary and election. Oh my that will be fun.


  21. - Judgment Day - Tuesday, Dec 2, 14 @ 10:22 am:

    “In a short matter of time, we can move Election Day to Monday and create a three day weekend….you know, just so people can vote any time over the 3 days”
    ———————
    Looking forward to telling all those election workers that maybe (maybe!) they’ll be eligible for a free no-expenses-paid 3 day sleepover at their polling place.

    With a free sleeping bag furnished by their friendly local neighborhood election authority.

    Wonder what we’re going to tell all those churches that also serve as polling places - maybe they will just have to cancel services?


  22. - Come on man! - Tuesday, Dec 2, 14 @ 10:26 am:

    Expanding Suffrage to more people has long been an issue for the party the represents the status quo and and advantage for the party that represents the indigent, vulnerable populations. Republican opposition is not a surprise here folks.


  23. - Johnny Q. Suburban - Tuesday, Dec 2, 14 @ 10:29 am:

    Just a thought: If same day VR was as effective as some legislators like to claim, why was turnout so low?


  24. - overcooked - Tuesday, Dec 2, 14 @ 10:33 am:

    There is no existing inconvenience to voting that can be eliminated to make the uninterested and uninformed more likely to vote. Same day registration exposed the procrastinators, it did not increase turnout.


  25. - Bogey Golfer - Tuesday, Dec 2, 14 @ 10:33 am:

    ===I would even like to see a day off of work for all to vote.====
    In some countries (I think England is one) they hold elections on Saturday. Of course in Illinois state workers get the day off - the thought of giving that up would be unthinkable.


  26. - Under Further Review - Tuesday, Dec 2, 14 @ 10:55 am:

    A lot of other states do not have a long history of corrupt elections. Ballot integrity is an issue in Illinois.

    On a side note, has anyone calculated the cost of paying for the administration of elections with the addition of early voting? It used to be that the election authorities paid precinct judges of elections for one day of service, plus training if they took a class. Now, early voting lasts for days on ends and more judges have to be put on payroll.

    During the last election, the Democratic Party mailed report cards to voters which graded them on their participation in recent elections. One senior citizen who I know who is suffering from dementia received political mail faulting her for not voting in the 2014 primary and which offered her an application to vote by mail in the general.
    I know that the election authorities conduct canvasses, but shouldn’t they also purge voters who have been declared incompetent by checking with the courts?

    What’s next paying a per diem stipend to every voter who casts a ballot?


  27. - Loop Lady - Tuesday, Dec 2, 14 @ 11:09 am:

    Johnny: One issue has nothing to do with the other…think about it for a coupla minutes and get back to us…


  28. - Cheswick - Tuesday, Dec 2, 14 @ 12:00 pm:

    == There is no existing inconvenience to voting that can be eliminated to make the uninterested and uninformed more likely to vote. ==

    I can think of one: Eliminate going to the polls and mail every registered voter a ballot to fill out and send back.


  29. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Dec 2, 14 @ 12:45 pm:

    === In Chicago, same day registration was a fiasco. They need to give this some thought so that the mistakes are not repeated. ===

    It’s telling that Chicago and Lake County were the only places with problems.

    === If same day VR was as effective as some legislators like to claim, why was turnout so low? ===

    It wasn’t as low as originally reported. In fact, Cook County is the only place it was lower, and I suspect that has a lot to do with the fact that none of the countywide officials had opposition, whereas in 2010 and 2006 there was a lot of public interest in the county board president’s race.


  30. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Dec 2, 14 @ 1:01 pm:

    ==A lot of other states do not have a long history of corrupt elections. Ballot integrity is an issue in Illinois.==

    Exactly what are those ballot integrity issues you speak of? Would those be the issues that people bring up when the election doesn’t go their way?


  31. - A guy... - Tuesday, Dec 2, 14 @ 1:07 pm:

    Demo, the other side of the argument never complains about it. Why would they? lol


  32. - Formerpol - Tuesday, Dec 2, 14 @ 1:08 pm:

    This is viewed by many as just another way for all the post-election votes to grow, which can be manipulated more easily by those counting (mostly in Cook County). In a close race, the partisans in the voting offices then know how many votes they need. Standards will then be looser in the favorable precincts and more stringent in the unfavorable precincts. Can anyone recall a Republican who was behind on election night who then won the election based on the after-ballots? I’ve spent so many elections as a watcher and have seen so much mischief that I share the cynicism. This is another reason why Illinois is a national laughingstock, and why Illinois can’t compete for businesses. There is no reliable rule of law in Illinois.


  33. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Dec 2, 14 @ 1:20 pm:

    We should do everything we can to make voting as accessible as possible. If you are eligible you should be able to vote. There’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to walk into a precinct on the same day as voting and register and then cast your ballot.


  34. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Dec 2, 14 @ 1:56 pm:

    Formerpol -

    I don’t know if you skipped algebra, but a vote is a vote is a vote, and whether a vote is cast before election day or on election day, by mail or in person, it still only counts as one vote.

    The only reason that some ballots are cast as provisional ballots and not counted on Election Day is to impose EXTRA safeguards that prevent fraud.

    It is nonsense to argue that votes are more likely to be fraudulent because of extra fraud prevention measures.

    In the Frerichs race, all of the ballots eventually counted were already cast as of election day. That night, Frerichs had already won, you just didn’t know it yet.


  35. - A guy... - Tuesday, Dec 2, 14 @ 3:34 pm:

    Y Dog, I didn’t skip Algebra (wished I could have), but I must have been day dreaming the day they talked about votes in that class. lol.

    For the record, I am for making voting a more easy and stream lined process. For me the most difficult part is how slow many of the counties are to update their voter rolls. I’ve shown up on doorsteps with 4 different families shown as residing and registered to vote. Before we make same day registration the law of the land, I’d like to see “same year” purging of ineligible voters who’ve moved. If there’s an opportunity to cheat, that surely is one. Imagine precinct captains just bookmarking all of these voters who don’t reside there anymore (sometimes for years!!) How hard is it nowadays to just walk in and vote on their behalf?


  36. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 2, 14 @ 4:23 pm:

    ===How hard is it nowadays to just walk in and vote on their behalf?===

    If you want to be a felon, not hard at all.

    You have a rampant case of similar fraud I should worry about?

    lol


  37. - Carl Nyberg - Tuesday, Dec 2, 14 @ 5:16 pm:

    If I was writing the law, I would include two things.

    One, there should be something of an obligation for people to keep their voter registration up-to-date. And that means being registered where you actually live, not someplace you lived in the past (exception for military service & some other specific cases).

    Two, Illinois should reform how it handles prisoners. Either they get to vote by mail-in ballot or they get counted for purposes of representation at the address they lived before incarceration or at the address they plan to return to.


  38. - DuPage Grandma - Tuesday, Dec 2, 14 @ 6:09 pm:

    - Bogey Golfer===I would even like to see a day off of work for all to vote.====
    In some countries (I think England is one) they hold elections on Saturday. Of course in Illinois state workers get the day off - the thought of giving that up would be unthinkable.=========

    Many state workers work on Saturdays….. Have you bought your plate sticker recently?

    State workers get the General Election Day off, not the Primary Election in the Spring. No one works for the state in order to have this one day off a year,


  39. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Dec 2, 14 @ 7:09 pm:

    A guy -

    You need to get a better voter file vendor or talk to your county clerk.

    Even the City of Chicago does regular purges by mailing out post cards to verify voter registration before every address.

    Frankly, campaigns ought to be willing to pay for that. And I would recommend automatically screening voter registration against the national change of address database as well.

    But if you are worried about voter fraud in the smaller, rural counties of Illinois I understand. They ought to ask for more money. Based on Scott Kennedy’s work, it seems they are only disenfranchising Republicans by not encouraging same day registration.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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