Yesterday afternoon, the Illinois General Assembly passed Senate Bill 172 (SB 172), a sweeping election bill that allows voters to register and vote on Election Day, expands early voting, offers grace period registration on university campuses, and modernizes current registration processes. This bill’s passage follows the successful implementation of the state’s pilot program this past November, for which nearly 9,000 residents either registered anew or updated their existing records before casting a ballot.
Highlights of SB 172 include the following:
The passage of Same-Day Registration in Illinois brings an element of hope while the country is laboring to process and effectively respond to the grand jury decisions surrounding the recent Eric Garner and Michael Brown cases. Both cases are unfortunate reflections of why it is essential that all citizens be able to exercise their voice through the ballot, so as to have a fuller say in both the officials that represent them, and the manners and policies through which they do so.
Illinois joins 13 other states plus the District of Columbia in advancing this fundamental mission.
Kudos to Illinois, and onward for the rest of us.