Recently passed reforms such as Election Day Registration encourage participation in our democracy. But Illinoisans still need policies that lower voting barriers. The following bills, currently under consideration in Springfield, will further expand the vote. By signing the Voter Empowerment Pledge, you can join Common Cause Illinois in supporting these important reforms and tell lawmakers to pass them.
- HB 1452 provides more access to translated ballots so all eligible voters can make their voices heard. This bill requires more towns and cities to provide translated materials if they have a large population of limited English proficiency voters. Naturalization requires basic English skills, but ballots can be long and complex and are better understood in voters’ native language. Access to translated election materials can increase limited English proficiency voter participation.
- HB 3368 and HB 3145 increases registration and civic engagement by younger voters. The voter registration and turnout rate is generally much lower for 18- to 24- year olds than older voters.
- HB 3368 allows 16- and 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote. Pre-registered young people stay registered longer and vote at higher rates. This effect is even greater for African American and Hispanic pre-registrants.
- HB 3145 expands “Suffrage at 17” to consolidated primaries. Currently, 17-year-olds may vote in a general primary if they will be 18 by the general election. HB 3145 creates more uniformity in our laws and will reduce confusion in odd-year elections. Suffrage at 17 increased voter turnout during the last general primary.
- SB 1265 extends the time that Online Voter Registration (OVR) is available, providing greater access to convenient registration. Currently, OVR is only open until regular registration closes 28 days before an election. This bill keeps OVR open until 16 days before an election, which can increase participation and reduce the resources required to process numerous in-person Grace Period registrations.
Office: Common Cause Illinois