McConchie: Automatic voter registration legislation is very problematic

State Senator Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorn Woods) says the automatic voter registration legislation that received enough votes in the Senate to override the Governor’s veto would create a situation where the government leads non-citizens to believe they are legally allowed to vote.


Under Senate Bill 250, a resident would automatically be registered to vote when applying for or renewing a state driver’s license or state ID. Sen. McConchie says a major problem with the bill is that is does not require the state to screen citizenship records before automatically registering an individual. Instead, the state is supposed to check eligibility after the person registers and remove those they find are not eligible.

“This legislation is very problematic,” said McConchie. “Under this proposal, non-citizens will be automatically registered to vote and then perhaps later removed from the rolls. If a non-citizen is registered and the state fails to remove that person in a timely fashion, they will get a voter card in the mail and likely believe they can legally vote. And if they do vote, they will be committing a felony.

“This automatic registration proposal will create all sorts of havoc in an electoral system that many people already do not trust. There are ways to encourage participation in the electoral process, but this proposal is fatally flawed,” McConchie concluded.

Sen. McConchie voted against the veto override motion for Senate Bill 250. It passed the Illinois Senate on November 16 with a 38 to 18 vote and now heads to the House.

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