New State Law Expands Voting Protections for Illinois Residents

New State Law Expands Voting Protections for Illinois Residents

The state of Illinois has passed a new law — SB 825 — which further expands access to the ballot box for Illinoisans.

State officials say the law increases access to curbside voting, establishing permanent vote by mail registries, establishes a central polling location in counties across the state, strengthens cybersecurity standards for election authorities in Illinois, and provides viable voting opportunities for justice-impacted individuals.

The legislation also establishes June 28, 2022, as the new 2022 general primary election date.

SB 825 grants sheriffs outside of Cook County the ability to establish polling locations at local county jails, a practice already in place in Cook County. Individuals awaiting trial and sentencing who are residents of the community surrounding the county jail will now be permitted to vote at the jail’s polling place.

“With attacks on voting rights on the rise in states across the nation, Illinois is proud to stand up for a strong, secure, and accessible democracy,” said Gov. JB Pritzker. “This legislation articulates the rights of Illinois citizens to vote by mail, allows those awaiting trial to cast their ballots, and makes a state holiday of Election Day 2022.”

The legislation builds on the administration’s previous actions to protect and expand voting rights in Illinois which include extended hours at permanent polling places, expanding the state’s vote by mail program, and making election day a state holiday.

“This keeps in place a number of voter conveniences that have proven popular,” said Senate President Don Harmon (D-Oak Park). “It’s a great example of lawmakers listening to the diverse voices of voters and taking steps to maintain and encourage voter participation.”

“With the signing of Senate Bill 825, we are telling the nation that Illinois is all about voter empowerment, not voter suppression. Illinois is about increasing accessibility for all people to vote while preserving the integrity of the ballot box,” said State Rep. Maurice West (D-Rockford).

For more information on voting in Illinois and to confirm your registration status, go to https://www.elections.il.gov/.

SB 825 is effective immediately.

SOURCE: state of Illinois news release