Yesterday Voters Across Illinois Relied on Election Protection to Access Democracy

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Yesterday, our Election Protection team monitored the polls and answered calls from eligible voters at the 866-OUR-VOTE hotline during the Illinois primary election. One eligible voter called us after an election judge told him, "You can't vote today, just come back in November."  That just shouldn't happen in Illinois.  Voters faced a variety of issues including:

  • Concern over letters being mailed to southwest suburban areas with significant populations of color, shaming voters based on their alleged voting history.
  • Electioneering – campaigning and pressuring of voters by partisan campaigns.
  • Inconsistent experiences with election judges, including instances of disenfranchisement by election judges not following the law.
  • Equipment failure – many old voting machines across Illinois jurisdictions caused delays which resulted in voters losing confidence in the system and some leaving the polls without voting.
  • Delayed opening of polling places due to late setup and poll worker shortages.
  • Barriers for people with disabilities accessing their polling places.

Thanks to our dedicated volunteers and partners like Kirkland & Ellis LLP, we protected access to democracy across the state. We are grateful for all your passion and hard work! Thanks to you, a diversity of communities reached out to us when they encountered problems and questions at the polls.

We also thank state and local election officials who worked with us to resolve many problems on the ground. Our trainings at Kirkland & Ellis LLP and University of Chicago Law School provided legal volunteers with the tools to assist voters on Election Day. 

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It was inspiring to see how much effort goes into making our elections work, and how much pride each member of the community had in having the opportunity to make their voice heard.
— Derek Tisler, Field Volunteer

During this election, our legal volunteers also advocated for eligible voters in pre-trial detention at Cook County Jail and at area nursing homes. We will continue to address systemic inequities in voting across the state. 

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