VRM in the States: Illinois

February 1, 2017

In August 2016, Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed an automatic voter registration bill that the State Senate and House had passed with bipartisan majorities. Had he signed the bill, eligible citizens would have been automatically registered to vote or had their existing registration information updated when they interacted with the Department of Motor Vehicles, the office of Human Services, the office of Healthcare and Family Services, the Secretary of State’s office, or an Employment Security office, unless they declined. The State Senate voted to override the governor’s veto in November, and the bill is currently pending an override vote in the House.

Advances in Voter Registration Modernization

  • Electronic Voter Registration: Illinois launched electronic voter registration at Secretary of State Facilities – which serve as the state’s driver’s license issuing offices – in 2016. Information is electronically transferred from Secretary of State facilities to election officials.
  • Online Voter Registration: Illinois launched online voter registration through the State Board of Elections in 2014. Eligible citizens with a state driver’s license or non-driver ID can use the system to register to vote and update their registration information.
  • Election Day Registration: Illinois implemented limited Election Day registration in 2014. Individuals may register on Election Day and during the early voting period at certain designated locations.  
  • Portability: Registered voters who move within the state without updating their registration can, on Election Day, fill out a change of address form at a designated location and then cast a regular ballot at their new polling place.
  • Electronic Pollbooks: Illinois employs electronic pollbooks in at least one county. 

Gains from Voter Registration Modernization in Illinois

  • Illinois received 31,000 online voter registration applications between the system’s launch in June 2014 and the registration deadline for the November 2014 election.