Senator Steans

November 16, 2016

Dear Friends,


Today the Illinois State Senate passed legislation to override the governor’s veto on automatic voter registration. I co-sponsored Senate Bill 250 with Senator Manar, which automatically registers eligible voters when they interact with state agencies. The legislation now moves to the House for consideration.


Automatic voter registration is estimated to provide access to the ballot to about 2 million eligible voters in 2018 and update the addresses of 700,000 voters.


Given the recent election, it is clear now more than ever how important it is to make voting easier. Over the weekend leading up to the election alone, 62,000 Illinoisans registered to vote online, demonstrating a need for increased access to voter registration. Although Illinois is the most populous state in the Midwest, we have one of the lowest voting turnouts in the region. Our democracy becomes more representative as more people get involved.


Automatic voter registration will help more Illinoisans register to vote, especially minorities. Nearly half of voting-age eligible African-Americans are not registered to vote in Illinois, while nearly 60 percent of Asian-Americans are not registered and 33 percent of women are not registered to vote.


Most of you will see this change when you go to the DMV to update your driver’s license or state identification card. At that time, you will be given the chance to opt out of being registered to vote. Otherwise, if you are eligible, your voter information automatically will be added or updated.


By automatically registering eligible voters, the state will streamline the registration process and remove duplicative paperwork. Automatic voter registration also maintains accurate voting rolls and ensures that as people move, their voter registration is updated.


I will continue to fight for our democracy during this legislative session. As always, please feel free to contact my office at 773-769-1717 or online with any questions or concerns.


Heather Steans
Senator Heather Steans
7th District – Illinois



District Office

5533 N. Broadway • Chicago, IL 60640

773-769-1717 (Phone) • 773-769-6901 (Fax)


Springfield Office

122 Capitol Building • Springfield, IL 62706

217-782-8492 (Phone)



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District Office
5533 N. Broadway
Chicago, IL 60640
Office: 773-769-1717
Fax: 773-769-6901

Springfield Office
627 Capitol Building
301 S. Second St.
Springfield, IL 62706
Office: 217-782-8492