Losing the Freedom to Choose, One Mandatory Voter Registration Bill at a Time

Illinois is the latest state seeking to remove citizens' ability to choose to register to vote or be involved in the electoral process in general. Senate Bill 0250 seeks to automatically enroll individuals to vote when they interact with one of five state agencies. Illinois already has a voter registration process in place and the State Board of Elections is opposed to the legislation.

Given the push from the left, this has the potential to be a disaster just like it was in Oregon. Other countries have shown mandatory voter registrations' perceived benefits to be at best negligible, and it is more than likely detrimental. Legislators should listen to the State Board of Elections, which will have to implement the fabricated solution to a non-existent problem

Election board officials said their concern is logistics, pointing out that there’s no program set up for the initial September update. 

“It would take major changes to the system and structure of our system to try and implement these things,” said Kyle Thomas, the board’s director of voting and registration systems. 

Thomas also questioned the possible “millions” it could cost as the budget standoff between legislative Democrats and Rauner approaches a year.

Don Gray, Sangamon County Clerk, commented on the concerns. 

"I understand the concerns there's a lot more burden on the state board of elections then there is here and the election authority to be able to implement Election Day and registration day maintenance," said Gray.

The board would have to go through a year’s worth of voter information to update their records.

The articles remain silent on something that has become a far more concerning trend from the left: Forcing citizens to register to vote. Freedom to choose is not something that we should take for granted. The role the government plays in our lives should not be one that forces us to participate, even if the measure provides the option to opt out rather than opt in. The solution to lack of voter engagement is not forced involvement. Rarely is forced action effective and often it has the opposite of the intended effect.