050213br0372rSPRINGFIELD – If legislation sponsored by State Senator Don Harmon becomes law, it will be even easier for college students to vote. The Oak Park Democrat’s plan, which cleared a key Senate committee earlier today, requires public universities and community colleges to send all students an email telling them where and how to register to vote.

“We should try to get young people involved in democracy at an early age,” Harmon said. “The easier we make it for them to register to vote, the more likely they are to stay involved in the process.”

Harmon is also trying to convince his colleagues that Illinois should move to accept online voter registration. The states that have already adopted online registration have significantly cut costs, registered more voters and seen no increase in voter fraud. Because his legislation to allow online registration did not advance from committee earlier this year, Harmon is now encouraging supporters to sign an online petition available on his website, www.DonHarmon.org.

“I need you to help me tell the other members of the Senate that Illinois is ready to move into the 21st Century,” Harmon said. “I can shop, watch movies, sign legal documents, even open my garage door online. There’s no good reason I should have to wait in line at a government office that’s only open during work hours to register to vote.”

Earlier this year, Harmon used his position as Chair of the Senate Executive Committee to quash a Republican attempt to force voters to show photo ID at their polling places, citing the large number of senior citizens and minorities who would likely find themselves unable to participate on election day.

“Your voter registration card is all you should need to vote,” Harmon said. “I support cracking down on fraud, but we don’t see much fraud. The mere specter of fraud is no justification for keeping hundreds or thousands of legitimate voters from being heard.”