Illinois attorney general appeals bar on Election Day voter registration
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Attorney General for the State of Illinois Lisa Madigan testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on protecting consumer information in Washington February 5, 2014. REUTERS/Gary Cameron
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CHICAGO (Reuters) - The Illinois Attorney General has appealed a federal judge ruling that blocks same-day registration at polling places in the state's most populous counties, a spokeswoman for the office said on Wednesday.
The appeal submitted by the state's Attorney General, Lisa Madigan, to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, seeks to reverse a ruling that bars Election Day voter registration at polling places in counties with populations of 100,000 or more. Such registrations were allowed under a state law enacted last year.
The appeal was filed on Tuesday evening, according to court documents and Maura Possley, a spokeswoman for the Attorney General's Office.
The ruling, issued Tuesday by Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan of the Northern District of Illinois, resulted from a federal court lawsuit brought in August against the state law by a group aligned with a conservative think tank and came six weeks before the Nov. 8 election.[nL2N1C321W]
The Chicago-based Liberty Justice Center, which filed the lawsuit, argued that the population threshold unconstitutionally discriminated against voters in less populated counties and boosted Democrats in heavily Democratic Cook County, where Chicago is located.
In his ruling, Der-Yeghiayan wrote that the law provided an advantage to urban voters over their rural counterparts.
The law, passed in late 2014 by the Democratic-led legislature and signed into law in early 2015 by former Democratic Governor Pat Quinn, allowed Election Day voter registration for the first time, including at polling places.
But the section of the law regarding polling place registration pertained only to counties with populations of 100,000 or more.
(Reporting by Timothy Mclaughlin; Editing by Frances Kerry)
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