The AVR roller coaster ride continues. 

Last spring lawmakers adopted SB250—an Automatic Voter Registration plan to enable more eligible citizens to vote and to make voter rolls more accurate and secure.

It passed with a strong bipartisan vote of 86-30 in the House, and 50-7 in the Senate. 

But Governor Rauner vetoed the AVR bill, citing concerns about vote fraud and contravention of federal election law, and he urged Republican lawmakers to sustain his veto. 

As the override vote neared, House Republican leader Jim Durkin (82th) and Assistant Senate Republican Leader Sue Rezin (38th) introduced competing bills (HB6627 and SB3452) that, according to AVR proponents, have no definite implementation dates and includes fewer agencies in the program.

On November 16 the Illinois Senate voted 38-to-18 to override the Governor’s veto, but this time they attracted just one Republican vote.  

Two weeks later an override vote in the Illinois House failed to achieve the necessary 71 votes, falling short on a party line vote of 67-47.

The BGA, as a member of the Just Democracy Illinois coalition, supports AVR, which was drafted in an open, bipartisan fashion, with input from key stakeholders, including county clerks who administer elections, as well as Democratic and Republican leaders. 

The Governor says he’s ‘a big fan of simplifying the voter registration process.’  So while his opposition to SB250 is disappointing, Illinois still has an opportunity to be a national leader in modernizing voter registration, while creating a safer system and saving taxpayer money in the process. 

We urge the governor’s team, along with lawmakers and other stakeholders, to craft an AVR bill that is acceptable to everyone and brings the benefits of automatic voter registration to our state.

The BGA is ready and willing to support and assist in the process.