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Proposal Would Automatically Register Illinois Voters

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More than a million people have Illinois drivers' licenses but aren't registered to vote. They would be registered automatically under a measure before the General Assembly.

Democratic Sen. Daniel Biss from Evanston says he thinks it is his responsibility as a public official to make the election process as open as possible.

"I think that we have a challenge in our society right now where participation in democracy feels first of all difficult and second of all, unfortunately sometimes pointless," Biss said.

Biss proposes registering people to vote when they receive or renew a drivers' license. Though people would be able to opt out, such a change is expected to trigger a huge uptick in the number of registered voters.

Whether they'd exercise that right is another matter entirely.

Lisa Ryan is a graduate student in the public affairs reporting program at the University of Illinois at Springfield. She previously worked at Indiana Public Radio and the college radio station founded by David Letterman. She is a 2014 broadcast journalism and political science graduate of Ball State University.
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