SPRINGFIELD – Illinois voters will see at least one constitutional amendment on the November General Election. Both chambers passed with a 3/5 majority a measure that would change the Section 8 of the Illinois Constitution to say:
No person shall be denied the right to register to vote or to cast a ballot in an election based on race, color, ethnicity, status as a member of a language minority, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or income. While the Illinois Senate passed the measure unanimously Thursday, five House members opposed HJRCA 52 earlier this week.
One of those opposing the measure was State Representative David Reis (R-Ste. Marie).
“We all agree that every legal, eligible citizen in Illinois should have the unequivocal right to vote,” stated Reis. “But putting a measure on the fall ballot to simply codify federal election laws while giving up any opportunity to pass photo ID requirements in the future just goes too far.”
Reis and others expressed their concerns over the interpretation of this law in regards to the eventual struggle over the requirement of photo identification to vote in Illinois similar to surrounding states.
"Throughout my time in Springfield I have fought for photo ID requirements for voting in Illinois," said Reis. "Each time my proposals have been blocked by Speaker Madigan and now with this Constitutional Amendment we will never get it passed."
In addition, Reis argued the amendment could cause a limitation preventing a more substantial and necessary proposed amendment, such as ending lame duck sessions, from being placed on the ballot in November.
“Our Constitution only allows for three legislative initiated ballot measures on the ballot at one time,” added Reis. “It’s clear Speaker Madigan wants to clog up the ballot so voters cannot address other pressing initiatives such as the ending of lame duck sessions.”