FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Tuyet Le
Phone: 773-271-0899 x201
LANDMARK VOTING RIGHTS BILL PASSES IN SPRINGFIELD
VOTING REFORMS WILL HELP ASIAN AMERICANS AND ALL IMMIGRANT COMMUNITIES
CHICAGO – In a huge victory for Illinois voters, legislators passed SB 172 which allows eligible residents to register and vote on Election Day, expands early voting, offers Grace Period Registration on university campuses, and modernizes our registration processes.
The bill’s passage is seen as a huge victory for all eligible voters in Illinois, but for Asian Americans and all immigrant communities, these changes will be particularly impactful.
“Have you ever had your name spelled wrong in the election book? Have you ever moved shortly before Election Day? Did you just become a naturalized citizen? Election Day Registration ensures that all of our Asian Americans can cast a ballot,” said Tuyet Le, Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice—Chicago (Advancing Justice—Chicago). “Immigrant and low-income communities are among the most transitory in our state. Election Day Registration is essential if we want full participation from our community members.”
“On November 4 we heard from a wide array of Asian Americans who used Election Day Registration. Some voters recently moved to new addresses, while others just felt compelled to vote for the first time,” said Kathleen Yang-Clayton, Director of Policy and Programs for Advancing Justice—Chicago. “Without Election Day Registration, our community’s voice would have been stifled this past November.”
Election Day Registration in Illinois began as a pilot program in a limited number of precincts during the November 2014 election. Long lines at polling places in Chicago showed the need for more Election Day Registration locations, and to make the process permanent because of that demand.
In addition to Advancing Justice—Chicago, SB 172 had broad support from a diverse coalition of groups who rallied to push for permanent Election Day Registration, including AFSCME Council 31, the Better Government Association, CHANGE Illinois, the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, Chicago Votes Action Fund, Citizen Advocacy Center, the Committee to Preserve Voting Rights, Common Cause Illinois, the Council on American-Islamic Relations-Chicago, the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Illinois PIRG, IVI-IPO, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund-Midwest Region, Planned Parenthood of Illinois, Rainbow PUSH Coalition, SEIU Healthcare Illinois Indiana, the South Asian American Policy and Research Institute, and student government leaders from seven Illinois campuses.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice—Chicago is the leading pan-Asian, multi-issue organization in the Midwest dedicated to empowering the Asian American community through advocacy by utilizing education, research, and coalition-building. Established in 1992, Advancing Justice—Chicago (formerly the Asian American Institute) was founded by a group of visionary Chicago community activists, academicians, and business leaders in response to the growing need to build a pan-Asian policy agenda among Chicago’s diverse Asian American communities. Advancing Justice-Chicago projects a united voice on the most pressing issues of concern to Asian Americans in metropolitan Chicago.
Advancing Justice—Chicago is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. It is a member of the Asian Americans Advancing Justice national affiliation, with partner affiliates in Washington D.C., Los Angeles, and San Francisco.