Senate Bill 250 would have had eligible Illinois citizens automatically registered to vote when they have contact with certain state agencies. For most, they would be registered when they obtain or renew a driver’s license.
As with early voting, the bill would have expanded voting rights and democracy.
Naturally the Governor and Illinois Republicans opposed it.
Governor Rauner vetoed it.
The Illinois Senate voted to override the Governor’s veto.
Michael Madigan’s House failed yesterday to do the same.
Even though Madigan’s House technically has a veto-proof majority, four Dems didn’t vote or were not present: DeLuca, Harper, Thapedi and Reaves-Harris.
Thapedi apparently wasn’t in town to vote. Reaves-Harper is ill.
Not a single Republican voted for the override, even though the bill drew GOP support when it passed the House by a 86-30 vote in May.
Thirteen Republicans who voted for the bill last spring switched and voted against the override.
Just Democracy Illinois, a coalition of religious, community and civil rights organizations, voiced disappointment at the failure of the override effort.
“SB250 was a carefully crafted piece of legislation that was the product of 18 months of conscientous, bipartisan negotiation,” said Andy Kang, Legal Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago. “This bill would have modernized our electronic voter registration system, made our voter rolls more accurate and secure, and saved taxpayers money over time. It is a shame that partisan political games derailed a common-sense bill that passed with broad-based bipartisan support just a few months ago.”
“Legislators had the opportunity today to show Illinoisans exhausted from months of divisive political campaign rhetoric that they could work together in a bipartisan, proactive and productive way,” said Trevor Gervais, Lead Organizer with Common Cause Illinois. “Instead, Governor Rauner forced Republican legislators to vote against smart legislation that they supported in the past, knowing that the Governor would spend millions to unseat them if they voted their conscience. Decisions should be made by local elected officials and their constituents, not billionaire donors.”