WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Same-Day Voter Registration Could Become Permanent

Dec 1, 2014

Illinois lawmakers are considering whether to continue allowing same-day voter registration. 

Last month’s election was the first time Illinois gave people the option of registering on election day.

Currently, the only location in McDonough County that can accommodate same-day voter registration is the courthouse.
Credit TSPR's Rich Egger

McDonough County Clerk Gretchen DeJaynes said 120 people came to the courthouse on Election Day to register and cast their ballot.

“We started with a line at about 10:00 in the morning and we got done around 7:00 to get those people processed,” DeJaynes said.

She said same-day registration proved to be a slow process that took nearly 20 minutes per person.

“It would not be the ideal way to register to vote. You’re certainly be better off if you get registered prior to an election so you don’t have to stand in that line, so you don’t have to wait," DeJaynes said.

“If we keep same day registration, I am going to urge people to do their due diligence (and) get registered prior to Election Day because it is going to be a lengthy process."

The November election was a bit of an experiment for the state.  Lawmakers plan to discuss this week whether same-day voter registration was successful and if it should be allowed in future primary and general elections.