Illinois Legislature OK's automatic-voter registration

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Emanuel and Johnson's joint statement following the House vote said that the bill "would finally hold repeat gun offenders responsible for their crimes, and It (sic) is an important step to improving public safety in Chicago and IL, along with expanding alternatives to incarceration for first-time non-violent offenders, investing in economic development and strengthening social services". Now, the bill will head to the governor's office and he will decide to either approve the bill or veto it. It now returns to the Senate for agreements on changes.

To make a long story short, AVR takes the 1993 "Motor Voter" concept - giving people an opportunity to register to vote when they engage in common interactions with state agencies like obtaining a driver's license - and takes it up a notch.

The bill was passed unanimously by both the Senate and House, though some changes to the bill were made by members of the House. As a result, Automatic Voter Registration has substantial bipartisan support, and this is the time for Gov. Rauner to sign it into law.

The bill also allows people to opt out of registering to vote. If SB 1933 becomes law today, IL will be the ninth state with Automatic Voter Registration, though more states that are now considering it could beat us to AVR. Oregon, the first state to fully implement the plan, is now a national leader in voter registration rates.

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In 2016, AVR legislation was approved by West Virginia, Vermont and the District of Columbia. In 2017, Colorado joined in voting for AVR.

According to Chicago's WTTW, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson praised the measure Monday following its passage in the state house. OR was the first state to fully implement the system, and it produced almost 100,000 new voting participants (out of 225,000 eligible voters automatically registered) in the 2016 general election. He urges Gov. Bruce Rauner to sign the bill into law.

A similar bill passed the state legislature past year but was vetoed by Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, who said it didn't do enough to prevent voter fraud. In March, he appeared before the Senate's Criminal Law Committee to support the bill.

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