Renew Your License, Register to Vote

Concern over undocumented immigrants and dead voters loomed over a debate over “automatic voter registration.”

State Sen. Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) tried to assure opponents that it’s not really “automatic” to become a registered voter upon renewing your driver’s license.

“The information that is submitted during that (driver’s license) process that exists today in state government,” Manar said, “would be given to the State Board of Elections through the process that we have today on online voter registration. That information would be shared with the local election jurisdiction, who retains the authority to do the voter registration.”

“Citizens of this country need to say, I want to be involved in the process so much that I am going to make the effort and verify who I am and be part of this process,” protested State Sen. Kyle McCarter (R-Lebanon).

State Sen. Jim Oberweis (R-Sugar Grove), who cited his experience of walking precincts in Chicago during his statewide campaigns, recounted tales of votes coming from vacant buildings, vacant lots, and graveyards.

State Sen. Martin Sandoval (D-Cicero) took umbrage: “The rhetoric is immoral, unconscionable, disrespectful, racist, and just all-out disrespectful.”

McCarter was unhappy at the intimation he is a racist, and voices rose across the Senate floor. After the dust cleared, the bill passed.

SB 250 has passed the Senate, 42-16.