Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) on Monday signed into law a bill that provides automatic voter registration (AVR) for voters who get or renew a driver’s license, becoming the first Republican governor in the country to sign an AVR bill into law and making Illinois the 10th state, along with the District of Columbia, to successfully enact the voting rights reform.
The new law creates more accessible and secure elections by automatically registering voters unless they opt out of the program.
It is expected to add roughly one million new eligible voters to the voter rolls.
Just Democracy, a diverse coalition of grassroots organizations including Common Cause Illinois, celebrated the victory.
“We are proud of our work to bring over 1 million eligible voters into the electoral process in Illinois,” said Brian Gladstein, executive director of Common Cause Illinois. “During a time of heightened partisanship fighting in Springfield and across the nation, we have demonstrated that breaking down barriers to the ballot box can be achieved and supported by both democrats and republicans. We must begin restoring faith by our citizens in our democracy and AVR is a good step in that direction.”
“Automatic voter registration will bring hundreds of thousands of additional Illinoisans into the democratic process and the legislature is to be commended for marshaling the support to overcome Governor Rauner’s veto last year,” said Karen Hobert Flynn, president of Common Cause. “Every American has a right to vote to choose their elected representatives and Common Cause members and staff continue to throw their weight behind AVR bills across the country with increasing success – even in an era where voter suppression measures are on the rise.”
The Hill added:
Simplified voter registration has also become a national cause for Democrats, who are concerned about what they perceive as Republican efforts to disenfranchise minority voters.
President Trump set up the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity last month, led by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, to investigate claims he’s made, without evidence, of massive voter fraud in the 2016 presidential election.