Historic Voting in Jail Legislation Passes Out of the Illinois House

Voting rights
House Bill 4469 (HB4469) will ensure that the 94% of people being held in pretrial detention at Cook County Jail, who are eligible to vote, are able to vote (Image Provided)
CHICAGO—(ENEWSPF)—April 26, 2018
Contact: Jen Dean

House Bill 4469 (HB4469) sponsored by State Representative Juliana Stratton, will ensure that the 94% of people being held in pretrial detention at Cook County Jail, who are eligible to vote, are able to vote. Today, HB 4469 passed out of the Illinois House of Representatives 64-37-1 with bipartisan support and will now move onto the Senate and assigned to committee.

If signed into law, Cook County Jail will become the first jail in history to become an official polling location. Additionally, HB4469 requires each election authority and jail across Illinois to run an election process in their jails. Chicago Votes has been entering the jail monthly, through their Cook County Jail Votes program, registering voters and coordinating election implementation. Chicago Votes has had conversations with thousands of eligible voters behind bars, hundreds that did not know they have the right to vote. These critical conversations are what spurred Chicago Votes involvement in the drafting of this pivotal piece of legislation along with Illinois Justice Project, Sargent Shriver Center on Poverty Law, and ACLU of IL.

HB4469 will also require each voter be provided with a “Know Your Voting Rights” guide upon release from all Department of Corrections and ensure that each person transitioning into the re-entry process is given a voter registration form, getting them back on the voter rolls.

This bill brings uniformity across the state, ensuring eligible voters in jail have access to the ballot. HB4469 ensures there are systems in place statewide so no eligible voter is left out during elections.

House Bill 4469 is supported by:

• ACLU of Illinois
• Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Chicago
• Business and Professional People for the Public Interest
• Cabrini Green Legal Aid
• Change Peoria
• Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice
• Chicago Bar Association
• Chicago Board of Election Commissioners
• Chicago Books to Women in Prison
• Chicago Coalition for the Homeless
• Chicago Community Bond Fund
• Chicago Council of Lawyers
• Chicago Jobs Council
• Chicago Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights
• Chicago Urban League
• Chicago Votes
• Common Cause Illinois
• Community Renewal Society

Current Counties with a jail voting program:

• Coles
• Cook
• DuPage
• Lake
• Piatt
• Sangamon
• Tazewell • Equality Illinois
• Heartland Alliance
• Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
• Illinois Federation of Teachers
• Illinois Public Interest Research Group
• Indivisible Illinois
• John Howard Association
• League of Women Voters of Chicago
• League of Women Voters of Cook County
• League of Women Voters of Illinois
• Legal Council for Health Justice
• Local 881 UFCW Backbone Films LLC
• National Rainbow PUSH Coalition
• North Side Action and Resistance
• Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law
• Solidarity Sundays
• Uptown People’s Law Center
• Western Front Resist
• e’s Law Center

For more information, or to join the volunteer effort, please visit www.chicagovotes.com.

Social Media: #HB4469 #CCJVotes @ChicagoVotes

Source: www.chicagovotes.com