Illinois on Monday became the 10th state to enact automatic voter registration after Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner signed the bill that was overwhelmingly approved by its state legislature.
Under the new law, eligible voters will be automatically registered when they apply for, update, or renew a driver's license or state ID.
The law, which passed the Illinois legislature with zero votes in opposition, is the farthest-reaching in the country.
A similar measure was vetoed by Rauner in August of 2016 when he argued the bill would open the door to voter fraud. Lawmakers were unable to override the veto but voting advocates were able to resurrect the measure this year with new language.
The new language requires eligible voters to affirm their eligibility when they are registered and gives them the option to opt out at the time of a transaction with any state agency. It further provides authority for the state to verify voter rolls using data collected from state agencies participating in automatic voter registration program.
Rauner's signature immediately allows Illinois election officials to begin work to develop guidelines for the law's implementation. The law provides for automatic voter registration at motor vehicle agencies to begin on July 1, 2018, and a year later at other state agencies.
Oregon became the first state to adopt such a measure in 2015. Illinois is the first Midwest state to enact automatic voter registration.