By a 42-16 vote, a bill to create automatic voter registration in Illinois passed the state Senate Thursday.
The measure, SB 250, now heads to the House for consideration.
Under the legislation, data from five state agencies would be used to automatically register Illinois voters. Illinoisans who do not wish to register would have the opportunity to opt out.
"[W]henever an eligible Illinois resident receives services at a designated state agency such as Drivers Services, Illinois Department of Human Services, or Illinois Department of Employment Security, he or she will be automatically registered to vote in the local jurisdiction unless they opt out," the Just Democracy coalition, which backs the legislation, explained in a statement. "Registered voters will also be able to update their voter information when they interact with these agencies."
The Just Democracy's member organizations include the Action Now Institute, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, CHANGE IL, Chicago Votes, Common Cause Illinois, the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and Illinois PIRG.
"Automatic Voter Registration is a common sense reform that saves money, increases the security of voting lists, avoids long lines on Election Day, and brings more than two million voters into our democracy," said Common Cause Illinois' Trevor Gervais.