Wednesday, March 11, 2009
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Bomke passes open primary bill out of committee

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[March 11, 2009]  SPRINGFIELD -- State Sen. Larry Bomke, R-Springfield, garnered enough support to pass Senate Bill 1666 out of committee on Tuesday afternoon. The Bomke-backed bill would create an open primary system in Illinois.

"When you ask people why they donít vote in primaries, the overwhelming response is that they do not want reveal their party affiliation," Bomke said. "Under an open primary system, a voter would not have to declare what party ballot they would like."

If Senate Bill 1666 were to become law, Illinois would become the 18th state that currently has open primaries. Illinois would join neighboring states of Indiana, Missouri, and Wisconsin in having open primaries if the legislation is passed and signed by Gov. Quinn.

"We need to change our current system to increase voter turnout for primary elections," Bomke said. "Open primaries are commonplace in a number of states that border Illinois. It is something that would be very beneficial to Illinoisans."

Senate Bill 1666 will be reported to the Senate floor, where it may see action in the near future.

"Today's committee was just the first step in getting an open primary established in Illinois," Bomke said. "I hope my colleagues will see the potential benefit of this legislation, and we can keep moving the process forward. We need to do what we can to increase participation in our democracy, and I see this bill as a good way to accomplish that goal."

To track Senate Bill 1666 and the rest of Bomke's legislation, visit

[Text from file sent on behalf of Sen. Larry Bomke by Illinois Senate Republican staff]

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