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Illinois to have permanent same-day voter registration

VotingBoothRSPRINGFIELD – A new law will make voting even easier in 2016. Modeled after a successful 2014 pilot program, it allows same day registration on Election Day and extended early voting.

“Our democracy is stronger when more people participate,” said State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park), the measure’s sponsor. “Our laws should make voting as easy as it can be. Same-day voter registration and expanded early voting are helping bring Illinois into the 21st century.”

Under the new law, people will be able to register and vote on Election Day. In Illinois’ larger counties (with populations over 100,000), voters will be able to register at their local precincts. In smaller counties that lack the resources to handle in-precinct registration, same day registration will be available in the county clerk’s main office and certain large towns.

Read more: Illinois to have permanent same-day voter registration

Harmon supports special election for state comptroller

053014CM0421RSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Don Harmon, who has long championed making elections more open and accessible to the people, believes that voters should be able to pick Illinois’ comptroller.

“The voters are entitled to make their voices heard in a special election for comptroller,” the Oak Park Democrat said. “Our democracy works best when people rather than politicians make decisions like this, which is one of the reasons I’ve fought so hard to make it easier to vote.”

The General Assembly returned to the State Capitol on Thursday for a special session to consider a special election for comptroller in 2016. The meeting was necessary due to the untimely death of Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka. Because she passed away so soon after the recent election, Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner could appoint her successor to a full term. Harmon and others believe that the people should be able to elect their choice in comptroller at the next general election.

Read more: Harmon supports special election for state comptroller

Senator Harmon announces support for North Avenue improvement

IL-64ROAK PARK - Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park), Representative Camille Lilly (D-Chicago) and Alderman Deborah Graham announced today that the Illinois Department of Transportation is awarding a $225,000 planning grant for improvements to North Avenue, Illinois Route 64. These funds will be used to plan roadway enhancements on the segment of North Avenue between Oak Park and Central Avenues, in partnership with the City of Chicago and the Village of Oak Park.  
 
“I am thrilled we have secured these funds for North Avenue,” Senator Harmon said.  “This roadway is the heart of an important business district and is vital to many of the neighborhoods that I represent from Chicago to the western suburbs.  This grant will enhance safety, improve livability and promote economic development.”

Senator Harmon and Representative Lilly worked with Alderman Deborah Graham of Chicago’s 29th Ward, as well as neighborhood community groups, in support of the application, which was submitted by the City of Chicago.  

Read more: Senator Harmon announces support for North Avenue improvement

State Senator Harmon’s statement on the passing of Comptroller Topinka

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) issued the following statement after Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka passed away early this morning:

“Judy Barr Topinka was one of a kind. She was a staunch Republican, but she also believed fervently that party labels simply did not matter in getting the business of the people done.

“The people of Illinois loved JBT. She was a powerhouse in the western suburbs. Even in liberal bastions like Oak Park, she ran head and shoulders ahead of other Republican candidates. People knew Judy was Judy. Labels didn't matter to them either. They knew that she was a straight talker, a straight shooter, and would always put the interests of the people we represent before anything else.

“Judy appreciated the tremendous honor of public service, as well as the brutal nature of campaigns. Through it all, no one was quicker with an ‘Atta boy’ or a ‘Keep your chin up!’ She loved her job and she loved all of us who served with her, in one way or another.

“We will miss her greatly.  Judy Barr Topinka will never be replaced.”

Plan to make Election Day voter registration permanent passes General Assembly

120214CM0095RSPRINGFIELD – Illinois lawmakers have passed a plan to make voting even easier in 2016. Modeled after a successful 2014 pilot program, it allows same day registration on Election Day and extended early voting.

“Making it easier to vote encourages people to participate in our democracy,” said State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park), the measure’s sponsor. “I believe we should do everything we can to make voting easier. The more people who vote and participate in government, the better.”

Under Harmon’s plan, people will be able to register and vote on Election Day. In Illinois’ larger counties (with populations over 100,000), voters will be able to register at their local precincts. In smaller counties that lack the resources to handle in-precinct registration, same day registration will be available in the county clerk’s main office and certain large towns.

Read more: Plan to make Election Day voter registration permanent passes General Assembly