With Chicago Elections Around the Corner, Common Cause Illinois Encourages Citizens to Volunteer in Election Protection Program

CHICAGO, IL — Common Cause Illinois urges Chicagoans to volunteer in their Election Protection program by assisting in poll monitoring for the Feb. 28 election.

The stakes of this election include new ward maps, polling place consolidations, an unprecedented number of aldermanic retirements, and the election of the first ever Police District Council. 

Poll monitors submit reports from each voting location they visit, documenting the voter experience including wait times, tech problems, language and disability access, and compliance with state and federal law. Poll monitors solve problems on the spot and escalate difficult issues to a Command Center staffed by attorneys and other experts.  

“All local elections are important, but this year, the stakes are especially high.” said Jay Young, executive director of Common Cause Illinois. “With the unprecedented number of aldermanic offices and new Police Council elections in contention, we want to make sure there is no electioneering or voter intimidation. Additionally, many Chicago voters will be voting in a new location on Feb. 28, which could increase the potential for voter confusion.” 

The Election Monitor volunteers are a part of a larger Election Protection program, which also features a hotline with trained volunteers and attorneys who field questions ranging from registration and ballot deadlines, to voting in-person and voter requirements. Voters can also report any problems at polling locations or any instances of voter suppression by calling 866-OUR-VOTE. 

“Democracy works when everyone works together,” Young said. “There is necessary work to make sure it fires on all cylinders and Common Cause Illinois welcomes all Chicagoans who are interested in being involved.”  

Registered Illinois residents are eligible to volunteer and are encouraged to attend one of three online trainings by using this link. Virtual trainings will be held on Feb. 22, 23, and 26 — with other trainings to be scheduled prior to the anticipated mayoral run-offs.

Any questions regarding volunteering can be directed to Mary Stonor Saunders at 312-376-3831.


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