Same-day voter registration at issue in Illinois lawsuit

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CHICAGO — A federal lawsuit is raising questions about Illinois’ new rules for Election Day voter registration, which will be tested for the first time in a general election this November.

Illinois piloted same-day registration in 2014, requiring counties and some major cities offer it in at least one location.

When the program was made permanent in 2015, updated rules required highly populated areas also add it at the polls.

A lawsuit brought by a north-central Illinois Republican congressional candidate and a party committee claims the change is unconstitutional because there isn’t equal access, particularly for voters in less populated and Republican-leaning areas.

Lawyers affiliated with the Illinois Policy Institute seek a court intervention to end poll-level registration.

Several groups object, arguing a change would cause chaos and deny people the right to vote.