Our Democracy works best when everybody participates. Unfortunately in Illinois, not everybody does. We have the second lowest voter participation rate in the Midwest and this year less than 1 in 5 registered voters voted in the primary elections.
That's why Illinois PIRG has been working with Just Vote Illinois to pass Election Day Registration in Illinois. The positive impact of Election Day Registration on voter participation is impressive and consistent: states with Election Day Registration historically have voter turnout rates 10 to 12 percentages higher than states without it.
This fall’s pilot program demonstrated strong demand for Election Day Registration in Illinois. Thousands of eligible voters who otherwise would not have been able to vote were able to register or update their registration and cast a ballot.
The Illinois Legislature is meeting for just a few days this fall, and one of the bills they are considering is one to make Election Day Registration permanent - Senate Bill 172. The House just passed the bill this afternoon and the Senate will be considering it tomorrow.
Here's a picture of me meeting yesterday with Senate Sponsor Don Harmon, and coalition partner Marissa Liebling of Just Vote Illinois.