Community groups, elected officials disappointed by veto of Automatic Voter Registration

August 15, 2016

On Monday, August 15, members of Just Democracy Illinois, along with Cook County Clerk David Orr and members of the Illinois General Assembly will hold a press conference reacting to Governor Rauner’s veto of the Automatic Voter Registration. Just Democracy Illinois also released the statement below.

Just Democracy Illinois statement:

We are deeply disappointed by Governor Rauner's decision to veto bipartisan automatic voter registration legislation. While the Governor has said that he is "a big fan of simplifying the voter registration process," his actions show otherwise as has passed up the opportunity to be a national leader in modernizing voter registration, while creating a safer system and saving taxpayer money in the process.

While we have had productive conversations in recent weeks with the Governor’s office about their concerns, those conversations could have and should have happened during the legislative process. The timeline for automatic voter registration should not be pushed back based on political calculations, and we will not accept stall tactics that delay implementation any further. Because of this veto, important initial measures to clean up Illinois voter lists will not go into effect before the November election – a missed opportunity to ensure a smoother Election Day for voters and elections officials. Just Democracy Illinois will work with our allies from both parties to override this veto.

The bill was drafted in an open fashion, taking input from key stakeholders, including county clerks who administer elections, as well as Democratic and Republican leaders. That is why it passed with broad bipartisan support: 86-30 in the House, 50-7 in the Senate.

Between Governor Rauner’s veto of Automatic Voter Registration, and the pending lawsuit that seeks to stop Election Day Registration, Illinois is moving away from making the franchise more accessible, and towards the sort of tactics that have suppressed the vote in other states across the nation.Now is not the time for Illinois to be moving backwards on voting rights.

About Just Democracy Illinois:

Just Democracy Illinois is led by a steering committee that includes Action Now Institute, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago, CHANGE IL, Chicago Votes, Common Cause Illinois, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, and Illinois PIRG. Over 50 organizations have signed on to support Automatic Voter Registration, which would make voting in Illinois easier, more secure, and save taxpayer dollars.  

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