Here’s a potential twist on the Feb. 24 municipal elections: Some voters expecting to register on the day of the election might find they can’t do so.
On Tuesday, thousands of Cook County voters registered and voted on the same day under a statewide pilot program. Without legislative action though, that won’t be repeated. There’s technically time for the Legislature to act before the mayoral and City Council vote, depending on how the legislation is written, but no guarantee it will do so.
In Chicago, lines were hours long at same-day registration sites and some voters were still in line at 1 a.m., which suggests other would-be voters might have given up and gone home. If those would-be voters think they can try again on the Feb. 24 Election Day, they might be wrong. Whether Springfield makes same-day registration permanent might rest on lawmakers’ interpretation of the long lines Tuesday as a fiasco or a sign of widespread demand.