Illinois Democrats push bill simplifying voter registration

Jan 13, 2016

Several Democratic lawmakers want to make it simpler for more than 2 million Illinois residents to sign up to vote.

Many people register to vote while renewing their driver's license. Currently, an Illinois resident has to apply, or opt-in, to register.This proposal would change it, so people would be automatically registered unless they opt out.

Democrats Sens. Daniel Biss, Jacqueline Collins, Andy Manar and Don Harmon.

Democratic Sen. Jacqueline Collins of Chicago said automatically registering residents may motivate apathetic 18-to-24-year-olds to vote.

"Today's young people are activists and they are aware," she said. "But we need to help them make the link between protest and policy change.”

Less than half of Illinois' young adults have registered to vote. Illinois also trails neighboring states such as Wisconsin and Missouri.