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posted: 1/10/2015 1:30 PM

Quinn changes election rules days before leaving office

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  • The 2016 election will see changes after Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation Saturday.

      The 2016 election will see changes after Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation Saturday.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

 
 

Gov. Pat Quinn Saturday made permanent new election rules that were first tested in the race he lost two months ago. They allowed people to register to vote on Election Day.

And he OK'd a special election in 2016 for Illinois comptroller, shortening the term of Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner's first big appointee, Leslie Munger of Lincolnshire, to two years, pending possible legal action.

Republicans had opposed both moves as either too hasty or a political power grab by Democrats days before Rauner is set to take office Monday.

"Our democracy works best when everyone has an opportunity to participate," Quinn said in a statement. "These new laws modernize our election process, make same-day voting permanent and help ensure that the people have the power to choose our statewide officials."

Cook County Clerk David Orr praised Quinn's action, which will be among the last before he leaves office.

In opposing the special election plan, state Sen. Matt Murphy said Democrats were already trying to mess with Rauner.

"Everybody's talking about how they can't wait to be bipartisan again and work on these problems together and the tone is so important," Murphy said to Democratic Senate President John Cullerton as the legislature considered the measure. "And the first thing you do, the first partisan punch thrown in the year, was by you."

The new election rules also extend in-person early voting until the Monday before Election Day. They won't take effect, though, until after the local elections this spring.

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