President Obama advocated for automatic voter registration in his former state of Illinois during his first trip to the site of his 2008 campaign kickoff in nine years.
Obama visited Springfield, Illinois, to deliver a speech to the House Chamber of the Illinois State Capitol, and touched on a number of issues including automatic voter registration laws. As quoted on MSNBC:
"[Bills are pending in the state legislature] that would automatically register every eligible citizen to vote when they apply for a driver’s license. That will protect the fundamental right of everybody. Democrats, Republicans, independents, seniors, folks with disabilities, the men and women of our military – it would make sure that it was easier for them to vote and have their vote counted," he said.
"And as one of your constituents, I think you should pass that legislation right away. I think the Governor should sign it without delay. Let’s make the Land of Lincoln a leader in voter participation. That’s something we should be proud to do. Let’s set the pace – encourage other states across the country to follow our lead, making automatic voter registration the new norm across America.”
Obama also called for "better politics" to cure a "poisonous political climate" in the state and the country as a whole.
"The point I'm trying to make is I care about fixing our politics," he said. "The reason this is important to me is, next year I'll still hold the most important title of all, and that's the title of citizen," from the Chicago Tribune.