Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn rewrote legislation Tuesday to let people vote in the Illinois primary without having to publicly declare a political party.
CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn rewrote legislation Tuesday to let people vote in the Illinois primary without having to publicly declare a political party. "The choice to favor one political party over another is a personal one and should be between a voter and his or her conscience," Quinn wrote in an amendatory veto message to lawmakers. If his changes become law, voters would get ballots for all established political parties and then decide privately which one to use. Lawmakers can accept or reject the Democratic governor’s amendatory veto. If lawmakers do nothing, the bill dies and the current primary system stays in place. Bills for so-called open primaries have been introduced many times before but have gone nowhere. If voters aren’t asked to declare their party affiliation it makes it harder for political parties to track potential voters and likely donors. Steve Brown, the spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan, said lawmakers would take Quinn’s changes under review. Democratic Senate President John Cullerton said lawmakers also would look at whether Quinn went too far in his rewrite of the original legislation. Illinois Republican Party chairman Pat Brady questioned why Quinn used his amendatory veto rather than pushing legislation for open primaries during the regular legislative session. "A voter should never have to fear the repercussions of picking one party over another when exercising his or her fundamental right to vote," Quinn wrote. Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.