IL automatic voter registration may not increase voter turnout

JACKSON COUNTY, IL (KFVS) - With Governor Rauner signing a new bill making voter registration an automatic process in Illinois on Monday, Aug. 28 officials expect that there will be a larger number of registered voters in coming elections, but not necessarily better voter turnout.

Under the new law, individuals will be automatically registered to vote when they sign up to get their driver's license. The new systems will be fully implemented by November 2019. However, most agencies will be see the changes before the gubernatorial election when Rauner runs for reelection.

Jackson County Clerk Recorder, Larry Reinhardt, said the new automatic systems will make his offices job of getting voters signed up will be much simpler. When asked if these new systems will also make the process less expensive he was hopeful.

Reinhardt also acknowledges Jackson County's large number of unregistered voters who live in and around Southern Illinois University who would be affected by the new legislation.

"We could easily see a 10-15% increase in our voter registration list in this county because of all the students not registered here," Reinhardt said.

He is uncertain of whether or not these changes will increase the number of people who actually go out and vote on election day.

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