I am extremely saddened and disappointed by Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of SB250 the automatic voter registration bill. It has been estimated that up to 2 million Illinoisans could be added to the voter rolls if this legislation were to go into effect.

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The legislation had very substantial bipartisan support and was supported by the secretary of state, State Board of Elections, and many local election authorities — the people and agencies who are entrusted under state law to ensure that our elections are conducted in accordance with the law making Gov. Rauner’s supposed objections to the bill even more puzzling.

Study after study have demonstrated that in person voter fraud such as the governor invokes in his veto is a myth (see for example: https://www.brennancenter.org/analysis/debunking-voter-fraud-myth) and the Brennan Center writes in its report, “The Truth About Voter Fraud,” “most reported incidents of voter fraud are actually traceable to other sources, such as clerical errors or bad data matching practices. The report reviewed elections that had been meticulously studied for voter fraud, and found incident rates between 0.00004 percent and 0.0009 percent. Given this tiny incident rate for voter impersonation fraud, it is more likely, the report noted, that an American ‘will be struck by lightning than that he will impersonate another voter at the polls.’”

At one time in our nation voting was restricted to white, male, property owners. Over the course of our history the demands for full equality, including access to full voting rights, have removed one barrier after another. SB250 like other such initiatives across the country seeks to remove one of the last such barriers, our antiquated system of voter registration and replace it with a system which both guarantees the integrity of the system and simplifies and encourages participation in our democracy.

Empowering citizens and removing barriers to participation has been a centerpiece of my work and my commitment as an elected official. Voter registration drives have been a regular part of my activities and I have long advocated for a bill such as SB250. I want the people of the 7th Congressional District to know that their vote counts, that polling stations are welcoming places and that their voices are heard by elected officials every day of the year, including on election day. Just as certainly as barriers to voting by African Americans and women or barriers due to language or disability have fallen, and continue to fall, I am confident that automatic voter registration will soon become the law in Illinois.

Danny Davis, United States representative,
Illinois Seventh Congressional District

Fair share

Why are the mayor and City Council members more taxes and fees for the taxpayers of Chicago instead of working on a progressive tax to generate much-needed revenue? For years, various groups and taxpayers have demanded the mayor and Gov. Bruce Rauner create a more just and reliable revenue stream — by taxing the 1 percent and corporations. It is way past time they pay their fair share so Chicago returns to being the city that works.

Ann Gutierrez, Tinley Park

Got it wrong

Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) got almost everything wrong in his comment on the payment to Iran. First, it was a refund on money that the Shah’s government had paid the U.S. for weapons. We weren’t willing to deliver weapons to the new government, but our differences with Iran are before a special international arbitrator. Our government decided to settle with their government rather than wait for the arbitrator to make the obvious decision.

Second, the government is served by the military, but it keeps faith with them. Ignoring their condition is not an option.

Frank Palmer, Edgewater

Falling short

Filling the world’s biggest shoes, those of president on the United States, requires the ultimate in on-the-job training. That has been true for every single person who has ever occupied the office. But, and it’s a big one, it requires some level of prior experience and knowledge. It’s a high bar, and in almost every area Donald Trump falls far short of the prerequisites for the job. His campaign rhetoric going all the way back to the first primaries has already damaged the process and the country. Placing him in the White House rolls the dice on some really bad consequences for America and the world. Illinois will vote for Hillary Clinton, so the folks in the swing states need to seriously consider the risks posed by Donald Trump.

Michael Hart, West Ridge