New law allows IL residents to register and vote on upcoming Election Day
DECATUR—To cast a ballot on Election Day, Illinois voters usually have to be registered three days before, but this November, they can do it the day of.
“We're going to be open that Sunday before Election Day, which we've never done before, going to have grace period on that Monday, and on Election Day,” said Macon County Clerk, Steve Bean. “So if you're not properly registered to vote, you can come in here on Election Day.
And regardless of when you vote, you no longer have to show a photo ID to do so.
These changes are part of a new law aimed at increasing voter turnout for this year’s general election. Macon County Clerk, Steve Bean, thinks it could cause a substantial spike.
“I think we'll see any place from a minimum of 200 people to up to more than a thousand,” said Bean. “I can't imagine what it will be like in a university town like Champaign-Urbana.”
Neither can Champaign County Clerk, Gordy Hulten.
“Normally for a governor's election in Champaign County we get 55,000 votes. I don't know if this is going to increase turnout,” said Hulten. “I hope that it does, I hope we get a couple extra thousand voters that take advantage of this.”
But if they do, it could mean longer lines at each county’s election office, the only locations that will offer same-day registration.
“It's going to be harder for us, it's going to cost us more money,” said Bean. “I think you're going to see a little bit more confusion on Election Day.”
But both clerks support the changes because they should promote more participation at the polls.