Springfield, Ill. – To secure ballot access, state Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville, sponsored legislation that will improve the permanent vote-by-mail list, increase access to central voting locations and expand accessibility options for individuals with disabilities. The measure passed the House and Senate during the recent veto session.
“Illinois has continued to protect and expand ballot access for voters, even as other states have placed individuals’ voting rights under attack,” said Stuart. “Voting is a fundamental right, and access to voting is central to ensuring everyone eligible to vote is able to get their vote counted.”
Stuart sponsored House Bill 536, which allows voters to register for the permanent vote-by-mail list at any time. It also clarifies that counties must have at least one universal voting center location on election days. Additionally, to increase accessibility at voting locations, each polling place must have a wheelchair accessible voting booth. The measure also creates a Voting for Persons with Disabilities Advisory Task Force to review laws and make recommendations to increase access.
“The pandemic has forced us to think about how we handle elections in the state to ensure every voter has secure access,” continued Stuart, “Our democracy is healthy when we have more participants in our elections. I’m hopeful that our state will continue to be a leader in voting rights.”