CHICAGO – July 13, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today acted on legislation to encourage citizen participation in Illinois government by eliminating the requirement that Illinois residents must declare a party affiliation when voting in a primary election.
“This bill is an important step towards making our primary elections fairer and more competitive, but it does not go far enough,” said Governor Quinn. “We cannot allow party affiliations to stand in the way of meaningful choice. Today’s action will protect the privacy of voters’ party preference and encourage greater participation in primary elections.”
Today Governor Quinn issued an amendatory veto of House Bill 4842 to create a fairer primary election system in Illinois. The Governor’s amendatory veto eliminates the requirement that a voter publicly declare political party affiliation when voting at a primary election. Under current Illinois law, a voter must declare a party affiliation before voting in the primary election, which is then recorded as public record.
As passed by the Illinois General Assembly, House Bill 4842 requires the Illinois State Board of Elections to produce an Internet voters' guide prior to the primary election, as is already required for general elections.
The Internet guide would include a photograph and short statement written and submitted by each candidate. Governor Quinn supports the use of electronic voter guides and the amendatory veto maintains all elements of the original bill, which was sponsored by Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago) and Sen. Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago).
From Governor Quinn’s amendatory veto message:
“Voting is a sacred right and as long as I am Governor, I will do everything within my power to protect each citizen’s ability to cast a ballot. With my recommendation today, a voter’s partisan preference will no longer be known to others. The decision to cast a primary ballot for one party or another will be strictly a matter of personal choice.”