Automatic Voter Registration is LAW in Illinois!
Since our founding, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago’s mission has been to empower our community. In campaigning for Automatic Voter Registration, we support the removal of barriers between our communities and casting a vote.
Automatic Voter Registration was signed into law by Governor Rauner on August 28, 2017, after receiving a unanimous, bi-partisan vote in both the Senate and House. Advancing Justice | Chicago was proud to hold a leadership position within Just Democracy Illinois, which led the advocacy effort to pass AVR.
About Automatic Voter Registration
Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) means using reliable information in state agency databases to register eligible citizens to vote or update their voter registration. When an eligible voter interacts with a state agency like Driver Services, they will be automatically registered to vote or have their registration updated unless they opt out. Non-eligible individuals will be removed from the registration process. Individuals can opt out while interacting with the agency.
- Strengthen our democracy: Every eligible American – Democrat, Republican, or Independent – has a fundamental right to have their vote counted. A national study has estimated AVR could add over a million eligible Illinois voters to our rolls.
- Secure our voter lists: Our outdated voter registration system has led to 1 in 8 registrations in America being invalid or containing significant errors. By using reliable information to automatically register only eligible citizens, and by more frequently updating our voter list, AVR will reduce the chance that anyone will be able to take advantage of insecurities within our system.
- Save taxpayers money: Although there will be some initial implementation expenses, AVR should save Illinois taxpayers money over time. The 29 states that tracked cost savings of electronic and online registration found: that electronic and online registration reduce costs. A recent national survey of voter registration costs estimates a cost of $3.54 per paper registration vs. $0.03 for automatic registration.
- Reduce Election Day registration: In the March 2016 primary, Cook County found that 75% of Election Day registrants used an ID that matched the address at which they were registering to vote. These voters would be on the voter list and out of the Election Day registration line with AVR.
- Only eligible voters registered: The Just Democracy Coalition will only support an AVR process that has the strongest protections to ensure ineligible individuals are not registered to vote. SB1933 does this by aligning with REAL ID and using reliable citizenship information to screen persons ineligible to vote from the program.