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Illinois House Bill Would Protect Voting Rights For Jail Inmates

Partners and lawmakers will gather Wednesday in the Illinois State Capitol to voice their support for a bipartisan bill, HB4469.

HB4469, sponsored by state Rep. Juliana Stratton, will ensure that the 94 percent of people being held in pretrial detention at Cook County Jail who are eligible to vote, are able to vote.

HB4469 will ensure that individuals awaiting trial are informed of their right to vote and given a voter registration form upon release as part of a re-entry process.

This bill requires IDOC to provide citizens who are released from their custody detailed information about their voting rights. This bill also requires the Cook County Jail to become a temporary polling location and all other jails across the state to establish an absentee ballot distribution and collection process for eligible voters.

Chicago Votes Voter Reg at CCJ.JPGVoter registration at the Cook County Jail

"HB4469 complements the work Chicago Votes and its partners have been doing in the jail for the past six months," said Jen Dean of Chicago Votes. "We are currently running a volunteer operation in the jail, registering voters and educating them on their voting rights.

"In one month, Chicago Votes will fill 296 volunteer shifts to ensure elections run smoothly in Cook County Jail. We will help conduct in-person voting for two days during early voting in March. This bill will enable jails across the state to take the same steps we are taking to enfranchise thousands."

House Bill 4469 was drafted by a coalition of community groups including Chicago Votes, the Illinois Justice Project, the Sargent Shriver Center on Poverty Law, and the ACLU.

House Bill 4469 is supported by:

* ACLU of Illinois

* Business and Professional People for the Public
Interest

* Cabrini Green Legal Aid

* Change Peoria

* Chicago Board of Election Commissioners

* Chicago Books to Women in Prison

* Chicago Coalition for the Homeless

* Chicago Urban League

* Chicago Votes

* Community Renewal Society

* Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights

* Illinois Public Interest Research Group

* League of Women Voters of Chicago

* League of Women Voters of Cook County

* League of Women Voters of Illinois

* National Rainbow PUSH Coalition

* Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law

* Uptown People's Law Center

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See also:

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Comments welcome.



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Posted on February 6, 2018


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