News Release | Illinois PIRG Education Fund | Democracy

New analysis: Automatic voter registration has boosted Illinois’ statewide voter roll

Voter registration applications have increased by 37% at Driver Services offices of the Secretary of State since the implementation of automatic voter registration (AVR), according to analysis released Wednesday by Illinois PIRG Education Fund. Since AVR’s implementation in July 2018, the system has helped register or update the voter registration of 1.3 million voters. 

Automatic voter registration has boosted Illinois’ statewide voter roll

By | Keegan Hollyer
Democracy and Civic Engagement Associate, Illinois PIRG

There have been multiple challenges to automatic voter registration implementation in Illinois and there are still opportunities to significantly improve AVR implementation. Even with those challenges, we wanted to measure the law’s effectiveness at Secretary of State facilities since implementation began in the summer of 2018. Our analysis shows that voter registration applications at Secretary of State facilities have increased markedly, by 37 percent, which translates to an additional 111,000 voter applications every year. 

News Release | Illinois PIRG Education Fund | Democracy

Campaign Finance Analysis: Small Donors a Small Factor in Chicago Mayoral Race

Analysis of Mayoral campaign finance reports through one week before Election Day shows that less than 1 percent of money raised has come from donors giving less than $150, while 97 percent has come from donors giving $1,000 or more. 

Report | Illinois PIRG Education Fund | Democracy

Small Donors A Small Factor In Chicago Mayoral Race

As we approach ten years since Citizens United v. FEC, the growing dominance of a small group of big donors in Illinois elections is undeniable. From City Council to Governor, political campaigns are increasingly fueled by a small number of donors who make contributions far larger than average voters can afford. Increasingly, to run a competitive race, a candidate cannot rely primarily on small donors, but instead needs to draw on the small number of large donors who can afford to make big contributions, from their personal wealth, or from the war chests of established political players. As the presence of big money in politics grows, the voices of small donors are increasingly stifled.

Today, Illinois took its first step forward in implementing automatic voter registration statewide. A fully-electronic process for “Opt-In” automatic voter registration is now available at all Illinois Driver Services facilities. This means registering to vote through Drivers Services is easier and more accurate than ever. This does NOT mean that you’re automatically registered to vote when you engage in Driver Services (e..g, renew your license, register vehicle, etc.).

Report | Illinois PIRG Education Fund | Democracy

Big Money in Smaller Races, Part II

A second look at the influence of big money in state legislative primaries: campaign contribution analysis of 15 state House races.

Report | Democracy

Big Money in Smaller Races


Campaign contribution analysis on March 2018 primary contests in Illinois state legislative races shows the impact that big money has in smaller races too.

Big Money Dominates in Race for Attorney General

By | Hannah Kim

As Illinois voters prepare to elect candidates for many top government offices in 2018, it is increasingly apparent that candidates must compete in a “money primary” in addition to regular primary elections.

Go Big or Go Home

By | Abe Scarr

To compete in the race for Illinois Governor, candidates are raising the vast majority - 97% - of their campaign funds this year from donors giving $1,000 or more.

Some Good News for Illinois

By | Abe Scarr
Illinois PIRG State Director

At a time when it seems like Springfield can't agree on anything, automatic voter registration has won bipartisan support.


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