OAK PARK – Gov. Pat Quinn Tuesday signed landmark legislation to expand voting opportunities in Illinois.
The new law is designed to encourage participation in elections and streamlines the registration and early voting processes.
“Democracy works best when everyone participates,” Quinn said. “By removing unnecessary roadblocks to the ballot box, more residents will be able to exercise their constitutional right and have their voices heard. This new law will help more people across Illinois have a say in how their community, state and nation are run.”
House Bill 105 streamlines the registration and early voting process and addresses a number of issues that have made casting a ballot difficult in the past.
The new law will allow same-day voter registration. It also extends in-person early voting hours and removes identification requirements for in-person voting by registered voters. The law also allows some public universities to serve as election-day in-person absentee voting centers, increases the window for vote-by-mail applications and expands early and grace period voting throughout the state.
The changes are in effect for the upcoming November general election.
The new law corrects several past voter participation problems in Illinois. Many people’s work hours or other commitments do not permit them to take advantage of existing early or regular voting opportunities. Nearly 13 percent of Americans move in an average year, and unless these people remember to update their voter registrations, they may not be able to vote.