Measure impacting auto voter registration raises non-citizen registration concerns

(The Center Square) – An Illinois Senate bill aims to streamline the automatic voter registration process to include applicants for both standard driver licenses, which non-citizens can now obtain, and REAL IDs for those who provide documentation of U.S. citizenship. 

State Sen. Ram Villivalam, D-Chicago, amended Senate Bill 496 and said that applicants who present immigration documents will not be registered to vote.

“Programming is in place to prevent the [automatic] voter registration process from launching,” said Villivalam during a committee hearing late Wednesday.

Illinois already has an automatic voter registration in place but Villivalam’s bill would expand it to include REAL IDs.

In 2017, then-Gov. Bruce Rauner signed into law the automatic voter registration program, which means Illinoisans who apply for a driver’s license are automatically registered to vote. The Rauner enacted law excluded temporary visitor driver’s licenses, but Gov. J.B. Pritzker in 2023 signed legislation
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