Local lawmakers are reacting to a piece of legislation that was pushed through before the close of the latest session in Springfield.
After passing early voting and same-day registration right before the end of the spring legislative session, House Democrat leaders said they would see how the process works in November, then analyze it, study it, get comment on it, and then decide whether to make the law permanent. However, three days after certification of the November votes and with no study, the House Wednesday approved a bill to make Election Day registration permanent. State Representative Bill Mitchell calls the measure quote-"the voter fraud act of 2014".
Sen. Dan Brady says many election authorities across the state, particularly in his district of McLean County, oppose the measure.
Sen. Brady questions the urgency of the measure. He explains there are no statistics at this point in time that would indicate the need to pass the measure so swiftly.
House Republicans in debating the measure on the floor say the measure was Chicago politics at its worst and will allow Chicago ward bosses the ability to bundle “absentee” ballots and allows for the processing of votes before Election Day.
Others say the bill puts rural voters at a disadvantage and also places additional mandates on state and local governments with a corresponding impact of higher costs for taxpayers.