Vote

Election judge Janet LeGesse uses on of the new tablets to register a voter back in March in Kankakee.

Same-day voter registration has its merits. Too few Americans take advantage of the privilege as it is, and any measure, which increases participation, would be welcome.

But the law Illinois legislators passed last year is flawed. Indeed, a federal judge on Tuesday scaled back the law as the November general election approaches.

Same-day registration still will be allowed on Nov. 8, but not at individual polling places unless the judge is overruled in the near future. The judge's decision sides with Republicans, who claimed in a lawsuit, that last year's extension of same-day registration is unconstitutional.

Republicans who filed the lawsuit say expanding same-day registration in highly populated areas doesn't provide equal access, particularly for voters in rural and Republican-leaning areas.

The law allows for same-day registration in counties where the population is 100,000 or more, and this arrangement is what rightfully drew GOP opposition. For instance, Kankakee County's population is above the 100,000 threshold while neighboring Iroquois County's population is below it. Thus, voters were faced with a separate set of rules even though they lived only a few miles apart.

It begs a simple question: Why can't Iroquois County voters enjoy the same convenience which Kankakee County voters hold? There's no reasonable explanation for it.

Same-day registration would be acceptable if it applied to every resident of Illinois, whether they live in the heart of the big city or in the most secluded of rural areas. Until the law is adjusted to meet this requirement, it should not be on the books.

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