Just Democracy Illinois Reaction to Governor Rauner Veto of Automatic Voter Registration

Media Contacts
Abe Scarr

State Director, Illinois PIRG; Energy and Utilities Program Director, PIRG

Illinois PIRG

Below is a statement from Just Democracy Illinois, in reaction to Governor Rauner’s veto of Senate Bill 250, Automatic Voter Registration.

“We are deeply disappointed by Governor Rauner’s decision to veto bipartisan automatic voter registration legislation. The Governor has said that he is ‘a big fan of simplifying the voter registration process,’ but his actions show otherwise. He 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 discussions 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 moving toward the sort of tactics that have suppressed the vote in other states across the nation. Now is not the time for Illinois to move backward 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 Illinois, Chicago Votes, Common Cause Illinois, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, and Illinois PIRG. More than 50 organizations have signed on to support Automatic Voter Registration, which would make voting in Illinois easier, more secure, and save taxpayer dollars.