Democrats push through flawed voter registration bill

While Democrat leaders refused to make progress on the state’s budget, they did find time to override a number of Governor Bruce Rauner’s vetoes.

Senate Bill 250 would automatically register voters when they apply for, update, or renew their driver’s licenses. While proponents touted the measure as a new system to increase voter participation and clean up the voter rolls, Rauner had vetoed the measure due to a number of serious flaws.

The legislation would require the Secretary of State’s office to forward all of the driver’s data to the Illinois State Board of Elections, potentially violating privacy standards. Concerns were also raised that the new system would automatically register anyone to vote who qualifies for a driver’s license, including those who are here illegally. The individuals would be given the opportunity to attest to their eligibility to vote, but the application would be processed even if they are unable to attest.

In addition, residents would be registered without their consent or knowledge. They would have the opportunity to opt out of the system, but not until weeks later by mail.

Senate Bill 3452 was filed by State Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Peru) as a compromise measure to address the issues with Senate Bill 250. Under Rezin’s legislation, individuals would have the opportunity to opt out at the beginning of the process. It would also stop the application process if their records show that the person may not be eligible to vote. Rezin’s legislation would also require a signature attesting to the person’s eligibility to register to vote.

Though Senate Bill 3452 offered a reasonable compromise that would address the concerns outlined by the Governor and other lawmakers while also increasing voter participation, Democrat lawmakers refused to consider the proposal.

Chapin Rose

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