Friday, September 30, 2016

Illinois court blocks same-day voter registration law only available to higher population counties

A federal judge in Illinois this week blocked a state law that allows same-day voter registration only in counties with 100,000 or more residents, on grounds the limit discriminates against rural voters. "The application of this legislation favors the urban citizen and dilutes the vote of the rural citizen," wrote District Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan.

The Chicago-based Liberty Justice Center, a conservative group, filed a lawsuit in August claiming the law favored urban voters over rural ones. The group "argued the population threshold unconstitutionally discriminated against voters in less populated counties and boosted Democrats in heavily Democratic Cook County, where Chicago is located," Timothy Mclaughlin reports for Reuters.

An appeal of the ruling by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, a Democrat, was denied on Thursday, reports The Associated Press. Her office argued "that yanking the option so close to the Nov. 8 election would unfairly deny some citizens voting rights." In his explanation of denying the appeal, Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan wrote: "This court did not restrict the rights of any voters. The legislation did."

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