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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Central District of Illinois

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Illinois Attorney General Madigan & U.S. Attorney Lewis Meet with Kankakee County State's Attorney's Office to Ensure Fair, Open and Legal Election in Kankakee County

Chicago – Attorney General Lisa Madigan, U.S. Attorney James A. Lewis for the Central District of Illinois and officials with the Illinois State Board of Elections today met with Kankakee County State’s Attorney Jamie Boyd and an official from the Kankakee County Clerk’s office to ensure a fair, open and legal election this fall that allows all residents to vote equally without obstacles or intimidation by law enforcement officials or offers in exchange for votes, all of which are prohibited by law.

“We are committed to ensuring that we hold a fair, open and legal election and that all voters’ rights are protected,” Madigan said.

“The voting process is central to our democratic system,” Lewis said. “We came to Kankakee County today and had a good discussion with the State’s Attorney and other officials intended to ensure that each and every person can vote fairly and properly.”

They discussed complaints, including allegations of some minority voters being subject to unnecessary requirements and misinformation about their ability to cast their vote, law enforcement officials intimidating voters and questioning people who drove them to vote, and offers in exchange for casting ballots.

Voters and county election officials are reminded that current law allows for voters to register to vote and cast their ballot at the same time during both the early voting process and on General Election Day following a Tuesday ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit.

Attorney General Madigan also reminded voters of some of their basic voting rights during the early voting process:

  • Voters have the right to register to vote and cast their vote at the same time.
  • If your registration is active and current, you do not need to show identification to cast your vote. If your registration is not active, there are circumstances in which you are required to show identification in order to vote.
  • If your voter registration is in “inactive” status and your address has changed, in order to vote the same day you may be asked to show identification of your current address.
  • If your voter registration is “canceled,” you will need to re-register and must show two forms of identification. The most common forms of identification include a driver’s license or a utility bill, one of which must show your current address.
  • If a voter makes a mistake or “spoils” a paper ballot and the voter has not cast the ballot, the voter has the right to receive a replacement ballot (10 ILCS 5/17-11).
  • If a voter cannot read, has trouble understanding English, or has a disability, that voter has the right to request assistance from anyone other than his or her employer, an agent of his or her employer, or an officer or agent of his or her union (10 ILCS 5/17-14).
  • No one is allowed to try to influence a voter within 100 feet of the polling place (10 ILCS 5/17-29).
Updated October 5, 2016