Cook County Jail Votes

ABC 7 | October 18, 2020

Cook County Jail is a predominately Black and Brown population. When we ensure access to the ballot in jail, we build Black and Brown political power.

Chicago Votes has been coordinating voter registration drives in the Cook County Jail since September 2017 registering over 5,000 new voters. Volunteers enter the jail every second Sunday of the month to register community members in pretrial detention. Chicago Votes also works with our partners to support the elections process in the jail. With the passage of Senate Bill 2090 (SB 2090), the Cook County Jail became the first jail in the country to become a polling place during the 2020 Illinois Primary Elections.

The effects of SB 2090 have been seen immediately. During the 2020 Primary Election, 32.9 percent of people detained in the jail voted. This increased to 40.25 percent in the 2020 General Election.