For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Illinois Becomes 10th State to Enact Automatic Voter Registration

WASHINGTON - Today, Illinois became the tenth state, along with the District of Columbia, to successfully enact automatic voter registration (AVR). Governor Bruce Rauner signed into a law a bill that creates more accessible and secure elections by automatically registering voters unless they opt out of the program. 

The new law will have a dramatic effect on Illinois elections as it will add roughly one million new eligible voters to the voter rolls. Similar laws in other states have been proven to increase turnout and make elections more secure by modernizing the voter registration process. 

“We are proud of our work to bring over 1 million eligible voters into the electoral process in Illinois,” said Brian Gladstein, executive director of Common Cause Illinois. “During a time of heightened partisanship fighting in Springfield and across the nation, we have demonstrated that breaking down barriers to the ballot box can be achieved and supported by both democrats and republicans. We must begin restoring faith by our citizens in our democracy and AVR is a good step in that direction.” 

“Automatic voter registration will bring hundreds of thousands of additional Illinoisans into the democratic process and the legislature is to be commended for marshaling the support to overcome Governor Rauner’s veto last year,” said Karen Hobert Flynn, president of Common Cause. “Every American has a right to vote to choose their elected representatives and Common Cause members and staff continue to throw their weight behind AVR bills across the country with increasing success – even in an era where voter suppression measures are on the rise.”

Despite Gov. Rauner’s veto of an AVR bill last year, this year’s version of bill was passed unanimously in the House and with a veto-proof majority in the Senate. Gov. Rauner is the first Republican governor in the country to sign an automatic voter registration bill into law. 

Illinois is one of a number of states where Common Cause is pushing to pass automatic voter registration. Common Cause state offices are also leading AVR campaigns in Massachusetts, New York, Nebraska, New Mexico, Maryland, and Hawaii. In recent years, Common Cause has played a key role in passing or enacting AVR reforms in California, Oregon, Connecticut, Colorado, Georgia, and Rhode Island.


This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Please select a donation method:

Common Cause is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization founded in 1970 by John Gardner as a vehicle for citizens to make their voices heard in the political process and to hold their elected leaders accountable to the public interest.

Share This Article