Below is an update from the Illinois League of Women Voters (LWVIL). (Source here.)
Monday, April 19, 4-5 pm
Join state legislators for a discussion of the latest developments in bills advancing through the General Assembly. This time, we'll talk equity at the ballot box and in all areas to meet basic human needs. Registration required. The access link will be sent on the day of the event.
Below is an update from the Illinois League of Women Voters (LWVIL) on redistricting events for the state of Illinois. There's information upcoming deadlines and how you can help. (Source here.)
Redistricting. Once a decade, legislative maps all over the US are redrawn based on new federal census numbers. Once a decade, voting districts can, and do, shift on local, state and federal lines.
COVID-delayed Census counts will not be available until September, yet the Illinois Constitution requires that maps be drawn and approved by the state legislature by June 30—so Illinois lawmakers are moving forward. Both the House and Senate Redistricting Committees are currently in the midst of a month of more than 40 public redistricting hearings being held statewide.
Public hearings allow community members to provide input about their interests, needs, and demographics that might have shifted in the past decade.
LWVIL’s mission to protect voter representation puts it squarely in support of fair and equitable map drawing. For the past decade, LWVIL has advocated unsuccessfully for a legally-mandated independent mapping commission as a way to provide permanent protection from partisan gerrymandering, ensuring that the needs of a community precede the political goals of legislators.
In the absence of an independent commission, transparency and community input must be part of the redistricting process. LWVIL’s testimony during current hearings suggests that additional public hearings should be held after maps are drawn, so adjustments can be made based on public input prior to voting on the final maps.
However, unless things change, once hearings are completed on April 24, the Illinois General Assembly will begin drawing maps. If approved by the House and Senate, these can be sent directly to the Governor. Illinois voters will have to rely on Governor Pritzker’s repeated public statements that he will veto any partisan map.
Elected representatives are the voice of their communities, and the impact of new maps and new districts will be felt for another decade. Voters must speak up now while the maps are being drawn.
Contact your legislator--let them know you want a district that reflects your community of interest.
Set aside April 29 for an LWV Day of Action. More information coming soon.
The League of Women Voters of Champaign County (LWVCC) is offering a new series of educational programs on current local and state issues on the third Wednesday of the month, 12:00 pm. The public is invited to attend.
The first Wednesday Discussion topic will be Ranked Choice Voting - what it is and how it works. Ranked Choice Voting has been proposed as a way to break our current gridlocked election system. Several bills which would provide for this new method of counting have been introduced in the Illinois legislature. LWVCC President Trisha Crowley will present the topic. Join in to learn and to discuss.
Register in advance for this Zoom meeting. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
The announcement below is adapted from a tweet by Champaign County Clerk's office that indicates Governor Pritzker just signed HB1871 to allow drop box use in all future elections in #Illinois....Champaign County voters will be able to use drop boxes for the April 6, Consolidated Election!
The text below was received as an email from the Champaign County Clerk's office. It was also advertised in the Classified section of the newspaper.
Public notice is hereby given that at 2:00PM Thursday, March 25, 2021 the County Clerk's office will conduct a public test of the election tabulating equipment. This is to demonstrate that the equipment will correctly count the votes cast for all candidates and measures for the Consolidated Election to be held on April 6, 2021. The location where the test will take place will be at the Election Supply Building 500 Art Bartell Rd.,Urbana, IL 61802. Notice is further given that this test is open to the representatives of the political parties, press, and the public. Due to COVID-19, space is limited, masks are required, and social distancing guidelines apply.
Aaron Ammons, Champaign County Clerk
Below is information from a March 23 article in the News-Gazette announcing their candidate questionnaire section. Their Election Central coverage (direct link here) may be helpful to voters as the April 6 election approaches.
"Two weeks from today, you get to decide who’ll serve on school boards, park boards, village boards, library boards, township boards, community college boards (and that’s just the short list) from Homer to Hammond. "
"Now live on our Election Central page at news-gazette.com: Q& As with 54 candidates for those posts, including the 40 pictured here and the four contending for two seats on the Urbana school board, whose excerpts you’ll find inside on Page B-2 [March 23, 2021 edition]. And coming in Thursday’s News-Gazette: an eight-page sample ballot showing the dozens of people and positions on the April 6 consolidated election ballot in Champaign County."
For another take on candidates in the April 6 Election, don't forget to visit the League's partner site VoteChampaign.org for questions/answers and much more information about the referendena and races coming up.
In 1920, the US adopted the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution, which prohibits the states and federal government from denying the right to vote to citizens of the United States on the basis of sex. The event represented decades of suffrage activism at the state and national level. Below is a link to some fascinating stories to remind us of that history.
These stories were prepared by Ashleigh D. Coren of the National Portrait Gallery and Sara E. Cohen of "Because of Her Story." The site says, "Advocating for voting rights was a job so big that no woman could do it alone. Get to know women who worked in their communities to advocate for the right to vote in this video series.:
Link: Eight Women's Voting History Stories You May Not Know
The League's Candidate Forums (co-sponsored by NAACP and the News-Gazette) are under way and being recorded for viewing. The first 7 videos are now available on the League's YouTube site. You can browse them there, or check out the specific links on the Candidate Forums page. These are the videos available so far:
Did you know that starting March 10 you can register and vote on the same day and at the same time? Voting and registering on the same day has the advantage of getting it all done at once. However, you must be prepared when you go. For information on same-day registration and voting, see County Clerk's website, under the topic "Grace Period Registration" on the Register to Vote page. Or take a look at the information below from the Register to Vote page of this website.
Register When You Go to Vote
You have the following options for registering on the same day and at the same time you vote:
This message is from the Deborah Turner, Board President, League of Women Voter: US (LWVUS).
What better way to commemorate Women’s History Month than by adding the Equal Rights Amendment to the constitution.
The ERA offers protection for all genders. One hundred years in the making, this is a crucial amendment whose time has come. It has been ratified by the required 38 states and is held back only by an ambiguous and legally questionable deadline imposed when it was passed 49 years ago.
Honor Women's History Month by helping make history. Tell Congress to remove the ERA ratification deadline.
“We need the ERA because our nation must close the book once and for all on the idea that equality of rights is a debatable issue. Because a constitution is not only a set of legal protections: it is a proclamation of a nation’s values.”
—Deborah Turner, Board President, League of Women Voters of the United States
This message and other News You Can Use are available online from the Illinois League of Women Voters (LWVIL).