April Recap: LWV Defending Voting Rights
This item is adapted from April email update from the US League of Women Voters.
The States Fight for Voting Rights
The League of Women Voters (LWV) of Kansas and various partners appealed a lawsuit challenging anti-voter laws passed in 2021. The laws include vote-disqualifying signature requirements and a delivery assistance ban that would disproportionately impact voters with disabilities or who live in rural areas or tribal land.
Meanwhile, the LWV of Arizona saw a victory as the state's Supreme Court dismissed a petition from the Arizona Republican Party that aimed to end all early voting. The LWV of Arizona had filed an amicus brief challenging the petition in March.
Challenging Unfair Electoral Maps
The Leagues of New York state and Florida both took action against unfair congressional maps.The LWV of Florida joined partners in filing a lawsuit against Florida's new map, citing both racial and partisan gerrymandering. Meanwhile, the LWV of New York state filed an amicus brief challenging the maps drawn by the Legislature after the state's Independent Redistricting Commission failed to submit a second set of maps as required by a 2014 amendment.
ExpressVote machines will be available in Champaign County to assist with the voting experience for the differently abled. These machines use touch-screen technology to assist voters in filling out their paper ballots. According to County Clerk Aaron Ammon's Twitter announcement,"at least one ExpressVote machine will be available at all polling places in future elections to assist voters with disabilities in Champaign County."
For a quick look at an ExpressVote machine, see this short video on YouTube.
For even more details on Accessible Voting, visit this section of the County Clerk's website.
Adapted from Twitter announcement and County Clerk website.
For more information, see the County Clerk's Twitter announcement.
Here are direct links to each video:
1. Top of Many Ways to Vote webpage: Three ways to vote: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZ3_KUFF5PM
2. Top of Vote by Mail information page: Vote by Mail: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iB3ymt9GgfQ
3. Top of Early Voting Information page: Vote in person early or on election day: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drHnIhewQUI
Source: LWVCC Elections Communication Team
Aaron Ammons, Champaign County Clerk, provides comments on $1.4 million in upgrades and other improvements in election security in the Champaign County Clerk's office in a recent article by the News-Gazette. According to Ammons, " Thanks to The News-Gazette for highlighting our work around election infrastructure and security. We are committed to continuing to utilize grants to help improve elections in Champaign County."
For details, see the full story in the News-Gazette.
The following is taken from an April 12 email from Aaron Adams, Champaign County Clerk.
Additionally, ballot drop boxes were permanently authorized by the Illinois General Assembly and the Governor in 2021. The original seven (7) boxes that were available in the 2020 election cycle will be open and I have added an additional five (5) throughout the County in highly visible areas. You can find the complete listing here. You can deposit your ballot in any one of the ¼ inch steel secure drop boxes that are permanent to their location. When voting is open, the contents are picked up daily by two Election Judges, one from each party.
You can also track the status of your vote by mail request and see when your ballot has been accepted on our voter portal. The first day to mail vote by mail ballots is May 19, 2022. Please request your ballot now and encourage your friends and family to take advantage of this safe, secure, and convenient voting option.
Early voting and Election Day in-person voting will continue to be options. You can find the full early voting schedule here.
And one final reminder, the 2022 election dates are Tuesday, June 28th for the Primary and Tuesday, November 8th for the General.
If you have further questions or concerns, please contact our office by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Champaign County Clerk
As announced earlier, County Clerk Aaron Ammons is offering a series of Voter Education sessions. The first session was in March.
The second session in the series is April 9, 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm at the Urbana Free Library, downstairs. This session will address the primary election, voting by mail, and vote centers. This series is free and open to the public.
Watch the LWVCC website for announcements of future sessions.
Background: Join Jeanne Schultz Angel in a discussion of the history of Illinois suffrage. Prior to 1920, women were denied the vote in the majority of elections in the United States. The struggle for enfranchisement began with the birth of our nation and was strategized differently in our local, state, and federal elections. Despite what people today believe to be a straightforward goal, the path to women’s suffrage was infused with sexism and racism and triggered a fear of feminism whose roots are still seen today. While wealthy women advocates played a vital role in the suffrage movement, they were not the only ones seeking enfranchisement. From attorney Ellen Martin, the first woman to vote in Illinois, to Ida B. Wells, a woman who did not let racism stop her voice, women’s suffrage has been a battle hard fought by a diverse group of activists in Illinois.
Co-sponsored by the Illinois Humanities Road Scholar Speaker Bureau.
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