Illinois generally has a strong commitment to voting rights, but improvements could be made to simplify the voter registration process, expand automatic voter registration, and implement a voter bill of rights.
EveryDistrict Action Fund is not currently tracking any pro-voting legislation in Illinois. Contact your legislator using the FIND MY LEGISLATOR button below and encourage them to introduce legislation that would implement one of EveryDistrict Action Fund’s recommendations for Illinois.
Automatic Voter Registration- Illinois does have automatic voter registration, as a result of SB 1933, signed into law in August 2017. Like other states, automatic voter registration is restricted to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
RECOMMENDATION: Expand automatic voter registration to as broad a collection of state agencies as possible.
Online Voter Registration- Online voter registration is available up to 27 days prior to an election.
Same-Day Registration- Same-day registration is available in the state.
Voter ID Requirement- While no Voter ID is required to vote, the identification requirement to register is more onerous than elsewhere. Voters must provide two forms of identification to register, one of which must display the voter’s current address.
RECOMMENDATION: Reduce the identification requirement associated with registration.
Early Voting- Early voting generally begins 15 days prior to Election Day and concludes the day before Election Day.
No Excuse Absentee- Illinois has no excuse absentee voting.
Mail-In Voting- Illinois only allows mail-in voting in the context of its absentee voting program.
RECOMMENDATION: Move Illinois toward a mail-in vote state in line with practices in California, Oregon, and Washington.
Felon Re-Enfranchisement- In Illinois, returning citizens have their voting rights immediately restored upon completion of their prison sentence. However, they must re-register to vote.
Voter Bill of Rights- Illinois does not have a voter bill of rights and the Illinois Elections website does not provide clear information for voters interested in better understanding their rights. The website has a particularly poor user interface, requiring voters to perform multiple clicks to understand key election information.
RECOMMENDATION: Implement a voter bill of rights and make it easily available direct to voters and on appropriate websites.
Polling Hours- On Election Day, polls are open from 6 am to 7 pm, for 13 hours of voting time.
RECOMMENDATION: Increase voting hours to 14 hours, consistent with leading states.
Wait Time Service Standard- Like other states, Illinois does not have a wait time service standard. While Illinois has substantial early voting, improving the Election Day experience is still vital.
RECOMMENDATION: Implement and monitor a wait time service standard for polling places in Illinois.
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