Ballots Behind Bars

Chicago Votes works to ensure access to voting for people awaiting trial in jail. In addition to registering thousands of voters, they helped pass a Cook County law designating the nation’s largest single-site detention facility as a polling place. This access enabled 1,850 people to cast their votes and about 600 people were able to take advantage of same-day registration and voting, which isn’t possible with traditional absentee ballot voting. Addressing jail-based disenfranchisement, which disproportionately impacts communities of color, gives people a voice in policies that directly impact them.

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