“Individuals in jail who are awaiting trial have not yet been convicted, so they are still eligible to vote and should be given the opportunity to do so,” Buckner said. “Not allowing registered voters to exercise their civic duty of voting just because they are awaiting trial is wrong, and nothing more than institutionalized voter suppression.”
Buckner cosponsored Senate Bill 2090, which requires the election board to collaborate with county jails in order to allow incarcerated individuals to be allowed to vote by mail, or for larger county jails to have polling stations. Before the law took effect, only six county jails in Illinois had voting programs.
“So many incarcerated individuals are not afforded these basic liberties, or are not made aware that these liberties exist for them,” Buckner said. “I am proud to have been a part of the process to get legislation like this through, and to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to participate in our democratic process.”