The BGA is disappointed in Governor Rauner’s decision to veto SB 250, Automatic Voter Registration (AVR). The BGA supported AVR as it would have made our voter rolls more accurate and secure. The BGA is a member of the Just Democracy Illinois coalition, the coalition that led the way in moving this bipartisan initiative forward. Below is a statement from Just Democracy Illinois:

“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.”

We urge the Illinois House and Senate to override the governor’s veto when they reconvene in the fall.