National Voter Education Week aims to prepare Evanston voters

EVANSTON, IL – The upcoming National Voter Education Week offers residents of Evanston another opportunity to prepare for the next election.

Week-long event, to be held October 4-8 in 2021, helps voters “bridge the gap” between registering to vote and voting, according to the National Week initiative website voter education.

“During this interactive education week, voters have the opportunity to find their voting location, understand their ballot, plan their in-person or remote vote, and more,” the description reads. ‘initiative.

Now in its second year, National Voter Education Week comes as many states revised election laws amid the coronavirus pandemic and in the wake of a 2020 presidential election that saw record numbers anticipated voters.

Almost one in five states have adopted restrictive election laws in the aftermath of the election that tighten postal voting windows and impose new rules on voting and the conduct of elections. Illinois did the opposite.

Following the 2020 election, nine states passed legislation that sponsors say improves election security. Critics, however, say the legislation makes it harder for people to vote.

In Kansas, a law effectively ends voter registration campaigns by making impersonation of an election official a crime, according to a National Public Radio report, a standard that could depend entirely on impressions. wrong. In Montana, state lawmakers removed voter registration on election day.

The Illinois General Assembly passed legislation earlier this year amending the electoral and municipal code that its Democratic-qualified majorities aimed to expand access to the ballot across the state. Senate Bill 825 passed a vote close to the party line in both houses, with State Representative Anthony DeLuca (D-Chicago Heights) the only Democrat to vote against, and was enacted by the governor JB Pritzker on June 17.

The bill makes Election Day 2022 a public holiday, allows voters to register for a permanent postal vote, allows election authorities to establish a curbside vote during early voting or on election days election, requires high schools to provide students with voter registration information and allows all sheriffs to set up polling stations in county jails, which is already happening in Cook County.

The legislation also allows those convicted of felony to hold elected municipal office if the governor grants them a reinstatement of rights, prevents local governments from requiring state lawmakers to resign their seats in Springfield in order to occupy elective office, and moves next year’s primary elections from May 15 to June 28, 2022.

State lawmakers last month passed an updated Democrat-backed redistribution map that establishes new state House and Senate districts using data recently released by the US Census. Office, but lawmakers have not decided on new congressional district boundaries. For the first time, Illinois loses a seat in the US House of Representatives. Hearings are expected later this month on how to develop federal maps.

The organizers of National Voter Education Week outlined a simple step to take every day that aims to develop residents, from unregistered voters to citizens knowledgeable about what’s on their ballot.

  • On Monday, October 4, the initiative highlights the hashtag #VoteReady, urging people to register to vote or check their registration status.
  • Tuesday brings the #MailReady stage, when people can request a mail-in ballot.
  • Wednesday is #VotePlanReady, in which people can plan to vote.
  • #BallotReady comes on Thursday, when the initiative urges registered voters to inquire about what’s on their ballot.
  • And Friday brings it back to #VoteReady, with the initiative calling on people to “increase their voting engagement.”

Registering to vote in Illinois is simple. The Illinois State Council of Elections offers an online voter app, as well as a voter registration search to see if you’ve already registered to vote.

You can also register to vote directly on the National Voter Education Week website.

Just under a third of people who voted in the 2020 presidential election did so in person after states extended postal and early voting due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report of the US Election Assistance Commission.

In fact, 2020 was the first time in survey history that a majority of voters did not vote in person on election day.

While new laws may have changed the landscape of postal voting, it’s important to know when you need to register, as well as other key election deadlines in Illinois.

In Illinois, an in-person “grace period recording” is available for the 27 days leading up to an election for people who have not registered or have not changed their address. Illinoisans living abroad and military personnel can register using a federal postcard application, according to the Illinois State Board of Elections.

Early voting dates are expected to be announced by local election authorities in May.


The patch staff contributed.


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