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SPRINGFIELD – Today State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th) voted to override Gov. Rauner’s veto on automatic registration. She was joined by colleagues this afternoon as they explained why Illinois needs automatic voter registration. The new approach streamlines the voter registration process, eliminating duplicative paperwork. SB 250 automatically registers voting-eligible residents whenever they apply for, update or renew their driver’s licenses, unless they ask not to be registered. Senator Collins Senate Floor remarks are as follows:

The right to vote for one’s representatives has been America’s fundamental freedom since this nation was founded. Its expression in our Constitution and throughout much of our history was imperfect – and perfected only by the willingness of ordinary people to make extraordinary sacrifices. Some bled, some were jailed and many died. And through this sacred struggle to perfect self-government, the franchise was expanded so no one would be turned away from the polls based on income, race or gender.

As a woman of color, I find unconscionable the recent campaigns in many states to reverse our progress, limiting access to the polls under the guise of fraud prevention. And this summer we have seen federal courts uphold the Constitution and strike down “voter ID” laws with their discriminatory effects.

Here in Illinois, I was proud to vote with a bipartisan group of my colleagues to reject the politics of suspicion and division and instead move forward – toward greater access – with Automatic Voter Registration.

The governor’s veto of this legislation hits the pause button on progress.

We have all seen powerful images of young people protesting injustice and calling for change. They are the voices of historically underrepresented communities, and they tell the bitter truth that government does not always work for them and their families. They need the power of the vote, and our arcane registration system too often stands in their way. Democracy can’t wait.

AVR veto 111516

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Chicago, IL 60620
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