Automatically registering voters through driver’s license facilities will streamline the process and increase voter rolls, according to supporters, but critics say increasing rolls doesn’t increase turnout at the polls.
Senate Bill 2134, introduced by Bunker Hill Democratic Senator Andy Manar, will change the current system of opting in at the DMV to an opt-out system, something Manar and others hope would increase participation. However Heritage Foundation’s Hans von Spakovsky says when congress passed the national Motor Voter Act years ago, it was in hopes of increasing voter participation, but voter turnout is still low.
However, Democratic Senator Jacqueline Collins says that’s why she pushed to get civics lessons back in schools.
Advocates for the measure say they want to have the second-largest voter drive for Illinois’ more than 2 million eligible citizens, saying when California implemented automatic registration they had 7 million citizens automatically become registered.