New bill could make voter registration easier if passed - – Rockford’s News Leader

New bill could make voter registration easier if passed


Voter registration could be made easier with the possibility of a new bill to help register voters.

"It feels good knowing I can hopefully make a difference with voting," 22-year-old Allen Johnson of Machesney Park said.

He just registered to vote for the first time. 

"Something I've been meaning to do for the past few years but I was in between addresses," Johnson said.

Efforts are underway in Springfield to make voter registration even easier for residents like Johnson.

Under a new proposed bill, when you apply for an Illinois driver's license, registration would happen simultaneously.

"People would automatically be registered unless they said I don't want to be registered to vote," 34th district Senator Steve Stadelman said.

Stadelman said this would simplify the registration process.

"That makes it efficient," Stadelman said. "That saves state and local governments millions of dollars and also improves the accuracy of voter roles."

However, everyone is in favor of the proposal.  Senator Dave Syverson said he would vote no to this bill.

"With the safeguards being taken away we see more and more problems occurring and this what they're talking about is just one more step that can have problems with it," Syverson said.
There's also a concern about possible fraud, which lawmakers are clashing over.

"I think the concerns are, one the drivers license aren't the most secure system in the world,"  Syverson said. "Two its going to multiple register people every time you get your driver's license you could be registering yourself to vote again."

Stadelman said he does not see a problem with the current voter registration system.

"The incidents of voter duplication and voter fraud has been very minimal if at all," Stadelman said.

Although it was not a problem for Johnson to register at Schnucks, he said he can see the benefit of automatic registration at a driver's license facility.

"It would have been less of a trip to go through," Johnson said.

This law only applies to residents who would be at least 18 years old during the general election.

Stadelman said a vote could take place in the senate in the next few weeks.

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