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Statement on Gov. Rauner's Veto of Automatic Voter Registration

I am extremely saddened and disappointed by Governor Rauner's veto of SB250 the Automatic Voter Registration bill.  It has been estimated that up to two million Illinoisans could be added to the voter rolls if this legislation were to go into effect.

The legislation had very substantial bipartisan support and was supported by the Secretary of State, State Board of Elections, and many local election authorities  -- the people and agencies who are entrusted under state law to ensure that our elections are conducted in accordance with the law making Governor Rauner's supposed objections to the bill even more puzzling.

Study after study have demonstrated that in person voter fraud such as the Governor invokes in his veto is a myth (see for example: https://www.brennancenter.org/analysis/debunking-voter-fraud-myth) and the Brennan Center writes in their report, The Truth About Voter Fraud, “most reported incidents of voter fraud are actually traceable to other sources, such as clerical errors or bad data matching practices. The report reviewed elections that had been meticulously studied for voter fraud, and found incident rates between 0.00004 percent and 0.0009 percent. Given this tiny incident rate for voter impersonation fraud, it is more likely, the report noted, that an American ‘will be struck by lightning than that he will impersonate another voter at the polls.’”

At one time in our nation voting was restricted to White, male, property owners.  Over the course of our history the demands for full equality, including access to full voting rights, have removed one barrier after another.  SB250, like other such initiatives across the country, seeks to remove one of the last such barriers, our antiquated system of voter registration and replace it with a system which both guarantees the integrity of the system and simplifies and encourages participation in our democracy.  

Empowering citizens and removing barriers to participation has been a centerpiece of my work and my commitment as an elected official.  Voter registration drives have been a regular part of my activities and I have long advocated for a bill such as SB250.  I want the people of the 7th Congressional District to know that their vote counts, that polling stations are welcoming places and that their voices are heard by elected officials every day of the year, including on election day.  Just as certainly as barriers to voting by African Americans and women or barriers due to language or disability have fallen, and continue to fall, I am confident that Automatic Voter Registration will soon become the law in Illinois.

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    repName Danny K. Davis  
    helpWithFedAgencyAddress Chicago District Office
    2813-15 W. Fifth Avenue
    Chicago, Illinois 60612
    district 7th District of Illinois  
    academyUSCitizenDate July 1, 2017  
    academyAgeDate July 1, 2017  
    academyApplicationDueDate October 20, 2017  
    repStateABBR IL  
    repDistrict 7  
    repState Illinois  
    repDistrictText 7th  
    SponsoredBills Sponsored Bills  
    CoSponsoredBills Co-Sponsored Bills