Demand that Illinois provide ballots to every
Tell Gov. Rauner to sign HB4469 for voting in
There are approximately 20,000 people detained in jail pre-trial in Illinois. Those who are citizens have the right to vote in elections. However, without a formal process in place, voting in jail is nearly impossible for people awaiting trial.The right to vote is not real until there is a process in place allowing people to exercise that freedom. With Black people constantly being over-policed the refusal to provide ballots to prisoners is targeted disenfranchisement. Illinois House Bill 4469 requires county jails and election authorities to collaborate in creating a process that ensures people on pre-trial can cast their ballot during elections.
In any given year, there are approximately 30,000 people who return from prison. Those who are citizens are eligible to vote in Illinois upon release. Yet many of these citizens do not register to vote because they believe that their past criminal conviction disqualifies them. This disinformation is not being corrected, instead of encouraging every voter to participate in the process the state is deliberately ignoring returning citizens.
House Bill 4469 requires the Illinois Department of Corrections and each county jail to provide eligible citizens released from their custody a voter registration application. This simple policy could work to expand Illinois's voter rolls by millions.
There are approximately 4 million residents of Illinois who have a past felony conviction, all of whom are eligible to vote. Yet, many of these individuals are not aware of their right to vote. Years of misinformation designed to keep Black people from exercising their freedom to vote has been encouraged to keep us away from the polls. House Bill 4469 requires the Illinois Department of Corrections to provide citizens released from their custody detailed information about their voting rights.
Together we can provide our voices to demand that Gov. Rauner sign HB4469. The state of Illinois recognizes the freedom to vote for prisoners, but they don't provide the mechanisms people need to use it. Tell Gov. Rauner this hypocrisy will not stand.
Jen Dean of Chicago Votes
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