Illinois Senate panel advances automatic voter registration

A Senate committee has advanced a measure allowing automatic voter registration in Illinois.
    
The measure filed Wednesday and approved by an executive committee would give election officials data from five state agencies to automatically register eligible voters unless they opt out. Proponents say the bill also would clean up and update voter files. Oregon has a similar law.
    
State Sen. Andy Manar of Bunker Hill is a sponsor. He has said the proposal would boost voter participation and reduce red tape. Top Illinois Democrats including U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin back the concept.
    
However, some opponents have questioned if such changes could cost more and lead to automatically registering non-citizens. The Illinois State Board of Elections opposes the measure over concerns with implementation and cost.

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