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Online Voter Registration Bill Passes in Illinois, But Funding's Yet to Come

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, June 5 2013

Illinois lawmakers this past week passed legislation that would establish online voter registration in the state, but then ended their session without voting to allocate funding to implement the system, the Pantagraph reported.

Illinois State Board of Elections Rupert Borgsmiller said he and his staff members would now be taking on the challenge of figuring out how they could work on mounting the system without the funding, the newspaper reported.

Under the legislation, voters would be able to register on the Board of Elections' website by providing driver's license and social security number information, similar to a system implemented in New York last year. That data will be shared and confirmed by the Illinois Secretary of State's office in order to transmit the applicants' signatures to their home county, the article explains.

According to the article, the estimated cost of the program is $1.5 million, mainly coming out of the board of elections budget. The Secretary of State's office estimates a start-up cost of $50,000, according to the article.

Governor Pat Quinn (D) supports the legislation and plans to sign it, and then Borgsmiller and his staff intend to review what they will be able to implement by the July 1, 2014 deadline.

As part of this week's Personal Democracy Forum, Kate Krontiris, principal at Reboot, and Kathryn Peters, co-founder of Turbovote, will on Friday discuss ways of reimagining the future of American elections and voting.