Restore the Right to Vote to Thousands in Illinois


Over 45 million people across the country had already voted by Election Day earlier this week. And the margins of victory this year are close. But across the country, millions of people are excluded from our democratic process. 

In Illinois, nearly 30,000 citizens couldn’t participate in the midterms this past week because they are incarcerated. You may already know that being incarcerated and denied the right to vote disproportionately impacts Black and brown Illinoisans. While 15% of Illinois residents are Black, 54% of Illinois citizens in prison are Black. 

Incarcerated people in Illinois aren’t allowed to vote, but they are still affected by decisions made by lawmakers. Disenfranchisement hurts Illinoisans on both sides of the prison gate. Nearly 60% of women in Illinois prisons are mothers; disenfranchisement laws prevent them from advocating for their children and families. 

It doesn’t have to be this way. Illinois has the chance to take a completely different approach.

95% of people in state prisons return home. Restoring the freedom to vote for incarcerated Illinoisans would allow them to advocate for their children and families, stay involved in their communities, and successfully re-integrate once they’ve completed their sentence. That greatly reduces the likelihood of returning to prison and improves public safety for everyone.

This month, the Illinois House is considering SB 828/HB 1872, a bill to restore the right to vote for incarcerated Illinoisans and ensure every citizen has a voice. The bill has broad support, with a recent poll showing the the majority of Illinois voters support this change.

Every American deserves a say in our democracy because “We the People” includes all people, even if they are incarcerated. 

Ready to be the voice on the outside advocating for those on the inside? 

Take action now by sending an email to your state legislators and urge them to support SB 828/HB 1872: