Illinois will become the 18th state to allow online voter registration as part of a measure Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law Saturday. Online voter registration in Illinois is expected to be in place in time for the 2014 general election in November.
move will help boost voter registration rates, especially among young
people, and will lower processing costs, according to a statement from
“Democracy works best when as many voters as
possible raise their voices at the ballot box,” Quinn said in a
statement. “Online voter registration will encourage more people to
fulfill their civic duty by making that first step of registering to
vote easier and more accessible. This new law will boost registration
rates, cut costs and move Illinois’ democratic process into the 21st
The online voter registration
system is excepted to be operational by July 2014. In order to register online, voters have to have a valid driver's license or state
identification card and provide the last four digits of their Social
State Sen. Don Harmon (D-Oak Park), the
bill's sponsor in the Senate, said online voter registration will not
only increase voter participation, it will also save the state money.
Processing a paper registration application, he said, costs 83 cents,
while an online application costs 3 cents to process.
measure was part of a sweeping bill that includes other voting
provisions, including a change to early voting hours on Sundays from 9
a.m. to noon to noon to 3 p.m. According to Quinn's office, the tweak to
Sunday's early voting hours will allow for broader participation.
The bill, HB 2418, also requires the Illinois State Board of Elections to post precinct-by-precinct totals for all of the state’s precincts.
this month, the governor also signed a law to allow 17-year olds who
will turn 18 by the time of the general election to participate in that
cycle’s primary election.