FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
DECEMBER 1, 2022
Sarah Harris, firstname.lastname@example.org
Currently, Nearly 30,000 Illinois Citizens Have Been Stripped of Their Freedom to Vote by State Laws That Prevent People Incarcerated With Felony Convictions From Voting
A Recent Poll Revealed That 56% of Illinois Voters Believe Voting Should be a Guaranteed Right For All
SPRINGFIELD— Today, the Illinois General Assembly ended its veto session without passing Senate Bill 828, legislation to restore voting rights to nearly 30,000 individuals while they serve a felony sentence. If the legislation had passed, Illinois would have become the first state to restore voting rights to incarcerated citizens and join Maine, Vermont, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C. in allowing currently and formerly incarcerated citizens to vote. The Assembly will have another opportunity to pass the legislation during a lame duck session in early January.
Stand Up America’s Deputy Political Director, Reggie Thedford, issued the following statement:
“It’s disappointing that Illinois lawmakers haven’t seized the opportunity to become national leaders by restoring the voting rights of all incarcerated Illinoisans during the veto session. Everyone should have the freedom to vote – no matter where they lay their head at night.
“Stand Up America and its partners are committed to continuing the fight to ensure we live up to our founding principles by making sure that the ‘we’ in ‘We the People’ includes all citizens, regardless of their incarcerated status.”
Stand Up America members across the state advocated for SB 828 this veto session, joining a growing grassroots movement across the country for voting rights restoration. In recent years, the movement has made important strides to ensure no one has their right to vote taken away. Since 1997, 10 states have reformed their felony disenfranchisement laws—and in 2020, Washington, D.C. became the first jurisdiction in the country to restore full voting rights to people in prison.
During the six-day veto session, Stand Up America members sent 615 emails to lawmakers in support of SB 828. During the regular 2022 session, Stand Up America members in Illinois sent nearly 2,400 constituent emails to their state legislators in support of voting rights restoration.
Stand Up America and its partners recently released a poll revealing that 56% of Illinois voters believe voting should be a guaranteed right for all and the state should give full restoration of voting rights to all citizens over the age of 18. The polling also showed wide support for voting rights restoration in the state among younger voters, older voters, and voters of color – including the notion that all citizens should be eligible to vote – with 60%, 53%, and 65% support, respectively.
More information about the importance of voting rights restoration is available here.
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About Stand Up America
Stand Up America is a progressive advocacy organization with nearly two million community members across the country. Focused on grassroots advocacy to stand up to corruption and voter suppression and build a more representative democracy, Stand Up America has driven over 1.7 million calls to lawmakers, registered over 100,000 voters, mobilized thousands of protestors, and contacted tens of millions of voters.