Illinois’ automatic voter registration delays worry experts

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois’ top leaders trumpeted the benefits of automatic voter registration when signing a bipartisan plan in 2017 to change how the state finds and signs up eligible voters. But Illinois hasn’t lived up to its promise, rolling out automatic voter registration far behind schedule and struggling with other changes in the law.

Interest in automatic voter registration has surged since Oregon became the first state to approve it in 2015. Nearly 20 states have approved some form.

However, problems in Illinois illustrate challenges in implementing the increasingly popular voter reform.

Delays have experts and advocates worried, particularly with a rollout closer to 2020.

Voter rights groups say the delays have meant Illinois missed some elections where more people could have been able to participate.

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