Lake County voter registrations surge by 45,000 since primary
The count of newly registered voters in Lake County has risen to 45,000 since the March primary election, outstripping previous election years. Altogether, Lake County has reached an all-time high of more than 405,000 voters.
In previous election years, the numbers of voters registered between the primary and the general election were significantly lower. Voters registered during the same time period previously were 23,500 in 2008, 10,000 in 2010, 19,500 in 2012 and 16,500 in 2014. Generally, more new voters register in presidential election years.
The dramatic increase in voter registrations this year is due in part to the growth in the county and the implementation of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) of 1993, also known as the Motor Voter Act, which allows people to register to vote when they get driver's licenses. While the NVRA faced legal challenges, the Illinois program took effect as a two-tiered system in August 1995. At the time, voters registering under the NVRA were only allowed to vote for federal office. All litigation ceased in October 1996. The Illinois State Board of Elections has now fully implemented the NVRA; any registered voter can vote the full ballot.
Illinois voters can register when they get a driver's license, at a social services agency or by mail. In addition, all Lake County precinct polling locations will offer registration on site on Election Day. Counties with 100,000 or more in population or with electronic poll books, even if the population is less than 100,000, are required to allow voters to register at polling places on Nov. 8.